By Ian Dipple 16/07 Updated: 16/07 15:02
HUNDREDS of people turned out in force to help make Astwood Bank Carnival procession one of the best the village has seen in recent years.
Despite organisers having to cancel the field events due to waterlogged fields, the sun came out on Saturday (July 14) as some 20 floats, dancers, musicians and a stilt walker entertained the large crowd.
Carnival Queen Aimee Arnold and her three princesses Caitlin Nesbitt, Isabel Sherrington Lodge and Ella Harrison led the procession in a carriage supplied by Thomas Brothers.
It was double success for Astwood Bank First School as they were declared overall winner and won the best foot walkers rosette for their Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory theme. Tiny Tribes Nursery of Cookhill was second in the foot walkers section for their Great British Breakfast theme, with youngsters dressed as fried eggs and waffles, while Astwood Bank Toddlers Group came third with some 30 youngsters turning out as paupers from the Charles Dickens novel, Oliver Twist.
The Finch family were highly commended for their Alice and Wonderland with a twist - the surprise being Mum Ann Finch dressed up as liquorice allsort, Bertie Bassett.
The winning float, judged by Redditch Mayor Alan Mason, belonged to Ridgeway Middle School, while the Old Yarr Farm Shop was second and Astwood Bank Scouts were third. Astwood Bank Toddler Group float was highly commended.
Teresa Fletcher of Astwood Flowers, was judge for the best overall entry and also a judge along with Redditch Standard editor Ian Dipple in the foot walkers section, and was also named winner of the best dressed commercial property.
She said: "It was very hard to decide on an overall winner as the standard was so high. So much effort had been put into it by everybody."
Alison Flower won the best dressed residential property for her Dr Livingston I Presume theme.
Carnival Chairman Lesley Jones said: "It was a fantastic day and was well supported by the whole village. While we won’t have raised as much as usual for our local charities and organisations but people were generous with their donations collected along the route."
"A special thanks to all our sponsors, but particularly Alleleys for the lorries and SE Davis & Son."
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