Picture Gallery: Princess leads parade at Watton Carnival

A princess called Katharine led a parade of movie stars and cartoon characters through Watton as the town's annual carnival kicked off yesterday lunchtime.

She may not have been Prince William's new bride, but little Katharine Ward was royalty for the day at least. And that was enough for the crowds of locals and visitors who lined High Street to wave at the 11-year-old carnival princess and her seven attendants.

The Carbrooke Primary School pupil was chosen by the town's twinning association, which has been selecting the carnival royalty for the past 24 years. Katharine was joined in a horse-drawn carriage by fellow 11-year-olds Charlotte Long, Chelsea Bircham, Agne Daugrintyte, Rebecca Gibson, Savannah Sadler, Tia Gort and Alex Gathercole.

Katharine said she had had an interview before being chosen by the committee. Ahead of the parade at 1pm, the keen dancer said: 'We had to say what our hobbies were – and show them our wave. I'm really excited.'

The event saw families, organ-isations and businesses come together to celebrate Watton's community spirit and enjoy the many stalls, fairground rides and food stalls on offer. After new mayor Michael Wassell officially opened the carnival, the movie-themed parade went on its way led by a marching band.

Groups including Westfield Nursery and Infant School, the Stardance Company and scouts joined in, with youngsters dressed up as Buzz Lightyear, Snow White, Walle, and even an Oompa Loompa.

Carnival committee chairman Steve Jolly said he was delighted with the turnout for an event that had been organised in just a few weeks.

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Concerns about a new road closure fee – which was later reduced by Norfolk County Council – held up preparations. But last-minute financial support from businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and Watton Town Council, which funded a free climbing wall for the day, ensured it went ahead.

Mr Jolly said the committee was looking for new members to help organise the 2012 carnival, which would have a royal theme in keeping with the Queen's diamond jubilee.

The committee expects to have just �100 left in the kitty after this year's event and needs businesses to pledge their support and get fundraising off to an early start. To join the committee or offer support, contact Steve Jolly on 07729 333002 or Cheryl Clayton on 01953 882260.

Watton Carnival was one of a number of community events which took place across Norfolk and north Suffolk at the weekend.

At Northwold, villagers enjoyed A Right Royal Carnival at Hall Farm yesterday.

It was the event's 34th year and it featured a gym display, street dancing and a Chinese lion dance to entertain the crowds. All money raised will be given to The Norman Primary School in the south-west Norfolk village.

In Suffolk on Saturday, the 20th Euston Park Rural Pastimes event took place at Euston, near Thetford.

The day, which is run entirely by volunteers, featured three show rings and its first sheep show and Dancing Digger, as well as a second world war memorial flight, Punch and Judy show and a bouncy castle.

Proceeds will go to St Nicholas Hospice Care and local churches.

Yesterday, it was the turn of Halesworth to get into party mood as its carnival took place.

The event, organised by Halesworth Lions, saw a procession start from the industrial estate off Blyth Road and wend its way to the town park, where there were various fun activities and displays for families to enjoy, such as samba and gymnastics.

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