Crowds brave carnival storms

THOUSANDS of people braved the elements to enjoy the biggest Stowmarket carnival ever.The event, held over two days for the first time in its history, saw 38 floats travel through the town and numerous stalls and entertainments at the recreation ground.

THOUSANDS of people braved the elements to enjoy the biggest Stowmarket carnival ever.

The event, held over two days for the first time in its history, saw 38 floats travel through the town and numerous stalls and entertainments at the recreation ground.

However, the festival was affected by the poor conditions that brought rain to the area for much of the weekend.

Sandra Gooding, secretary of the carnival, said people enjoyed themselves despite the rain.

She said: "Girls were getting wet but they came through the gates with smiles on their faces.

"When people say it has been a good carnival, you know it has been worth it.

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"It was a bit like Glastonbury and I was knee deep in mud.

"It was an experiment to hold it for two days and we will try to do it again next year but the weather has upset us.

"I think people have come and appreciated the two-day event but not the weather.

Mrs Gooding also thanked the Stow Rugby Club who helped with the stewarding and everyone else who had been involved in the organisation and running of the festival.

This was the 42nd Stowmarket Carnival and about 15,000 people attended the event.

The attractions included music and dancing performances, stalls, refreshments, a firework display and stunt shows.

Julie Minns, of Station Road, Haughley, went to the event with her husband Paul and their children Alicia, seven, and Brennan, five.

She enjoyed the carnival and felt it was good for the area. She said: "It is just about seeing everyone together, soaking up the atmosphere and seeing lots of friends.

"It brings the local community together, supports a lot of organisations and is nice for the children to be a part of the community.

"It is a bit of a family tradition, it is the start of the holidays, so we come to the carnival."

Mrs Minns felt the carnival had been better than in previous years and added: " The children enjoyed seeing all the floats and it was nice to have the music. Had the weather been better we could have brought a picnic.

"You feel sorry for the majorettes and everyone who has put a lot of time into it.

"I am surprised there was so many people here and it was a much bigger crowd than I anticipated."

n What do you think of this year's Stowmarket Carnival? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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