Watton’s community spirit praised as annual carnival draws the crowds

Watton Carnival organiser, Cheryl Clayton as Dobby, with a carnival princess and prince in the parad

Watton Carnival organiser, Cheryl Clayton as Dobby, with a carnival princess and prince in the parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Life in Watton has changed in the more than 90 years since its carnival began.

The Phoenix Pipes and Drums lead the Watton Carnival walking parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Phoenix Pipes and Drums lead the Watton Carnival walking parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

But as the decades have passed the tradition of the event has been kept alive for new generations to enjoy.

And this year's event was no exception with hundreds of people enjoying the many family friendly stalls, rides and activities on High Street.

As per tradition, the event kicked-off on Sunday with a special open-air morning service led by Watton Pentecostal Church, before town mayor Stan Hebborn officially opened the event.

Thousands of residents from Watton and the surrounding villages strolled up and down the street taking in a host of stalls from charities and organisations, to refreshment areas set up by local businesses.

Naglis Petrauskas, nine, joins the police at the Watton Carnival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Naglis Petrauskas, nine, joins the police at the Watton Carnival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017


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Norfolk police's stand was particularly popular; with children able to try on hats and take a look at the force's donated Porsche Cayman GT4.

This year's theme was enchanted and many youngsters - and adults - took the opportunity to dress as their favourite princess, prince or fantasy character.

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Watton Carnival trustee Cheryl Clayton, who was dressed as Dobby the house elf from Harry Potter, said: 'It is a great opportunity for organisations to raise awareness of themselves.

'I think this carnival is different in the sense that we have it in the High Street and it gives it an atmosphere.'

The service before the carnival by the Watton Pentecostal Church. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The service before the carnival by the Watton Pentecostal Church. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The procession was led by The Phoenix Pipes and Drums followed in close pursuit by the princesses and princes.

With Rock 'n' Roll band Badge returning by popular demand to take the party into the afternoon.

Mr Hebborn said: 'I am really pleased with the turn out. We have been blessed with the weather. The carnival committee have worked extremely hard.'

He added: 'It is a great for the community and the community spirit for these events is picking up momentum. We have the fireworks on October 28. This will be the second year since they were reintroduced after they stopped for about 15 years.'

The service before the carnival by the Watton Pentecostal Church. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The service before the carnival by the Watton Pentecostal Church. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Watton's Carnival has been parading through the town's streets since 1924.

Next year's event will take place on Sunday, September 16.

For more information about the event visit Watton Carnival

Merlin, Chris Turner, from the Watton Pantomine Group, at the carnival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Merlin, Chris Turner, from the Watton Pantomine Group, at the carnival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Mayor and Mayoress, Stan Hebborn and his wife Susan, in the Watton Carnival parade. Picture: DENISE

Mayor and Mayoress, Stan Hebborn and his wife Susan, in the Watton Carnival parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The Watton Carnival walking parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Watton Carnival walking parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The Watton Carnival walking parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Watton Carnival walking parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The Watton Carnival walking parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Watton Carnival walking parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The Watton Carnival walking parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Watton Carnival walking parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

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