Whatever the future holds for Littlehampton Carnival, the town’s biggest summertime event returns on Saturday, keeping alive a tradition dating back to the 1970s in its current format.
Town mayor Ian Buckland is due to launch carnival day in the town centre pedestrian precinct at 10am, with the City of Coventry Corps of Drums opening a busy daytime programme of entertainment.
Then, in late afternoon, the procession lines up in St Winefride’s Road ready for judging, before setting off into the town centre, along South Terrace and Pier Road, Surrey Street, Arundel Road and Franciscan Way en route to Southfields recreation ground.
Carnival president Freda Hughes hopes the inclusion of two new groups, the Essex Caledonian Pipe Band and the all-girl Haverettes, also from Essex, will make up for the absence of two stalwarts of the parade, the Romsey Old Cadets Band and Bournemouth Carnival Band, both of whom were unable to call on enough musicians.
The Coventry drummers will join the procession, too, together with the Arundel and Littlehampton District Scout Band, while dance and pom-pom groups expected to be stepping out include the Southern Starlights, the Wonder Girls, the Regis Troupers and the Hastings Coastal Twirlers, with their spectacular baton routines. Also invited to take part are the Littlehampton Sea Cadets Band and Littlehampton Army Cadets.
Freda has popular television quiz show Pointless to thank for signing up the Essex pipers, as she explained: “One of the contestants said he played for the band, and I have always wanted a pipe band in the procession, so I tracked them down afterwards.”
The big question for Saturday, however, is who will be the winners among the floats and walking groups in the parade, to challenge overall winners Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society?
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