By Ian Dipple 13/07 Updated: 13/07 12:01
ORGANISERS of Astwood Bank Carnival have been forced to abandon most of the planned events after days of torrential rainfall.
Although the procession around the village will still go ahead tomorrow (Saturday) the field activities have had to be cancelled for the first time in the event's history.
With more rain forecast for the weekend organisers reluctantly decided to call off a range of activities planned on the field of SE Davis and Son in Edgioake Lane due to flooding.
It is a blow to the carnival which was due to wow crowds with a fantastic fire show - involving lengths of chain being ignited and then swirled about at arm’s length to create intricate patterns, a range of stalls - leaping dogs and a performance by the Lucy Jane School of Dance.
There was also due to be a mini-music festival with a range of bands playing on a lorry stage.
Committee chairman Lesley Jones said: "We have had to take the very difficult and unprecedented decision to cancel our carnival field events this year.
"Please come out and welcome your carnival on the streets and give generously to show your support and appreciation for everyone’s efforts - despite the great British weather!"
The procession will be led by Carnival Queen Amiee Arnold, 15, and she will be accompanied by princesses Caitlin Nesbitt and Isabel Sherrington Lodge, both seven, and Ella Harrison, eight.
In total 20 floats will take part, with the procession starting about 12.10pm going around the village and arriving back at the carnival field about 1.40pm. The floats will be joined by a number of foot walkers, marching bands and other performers and this year has a theme of Great Britons.
The floats will be judged by Redditch Mayor Alan Mason, Deputy Mayor Wanda King and Alcester Town Crier David Parkes.
Villagers living along the route have been been urged to dress up their properties to help add to the occasion.
Mr Jones added: "We have a prize for the best dressed property but would like to see more people entering to make this a really memorable event. Even if people just put some balloons up that would be something positive to cheer up."
The carnival is now in its 25th year and has raised more than £250,000 for good causes. Last year £6,000 was given to 16 charities.
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