Dazzling display at Disney carnival

MICKEY Mouse, Peter Pan, Donald Duck and the Jungle Book characters were calling the "toon" as Felixstowe celebrated in style at its annual carnival.

By Richard Cornwell

MICKEY Mouse, Peter Pan, Donald Duck and the Jungle Book characters were calling the "toon" as Felixstowe celebrated in style at its annual carnival.

Under a cloudless sky and in blazing seaside sunshine, the magnificent and noisy procession wound its way through the town centre and down to the beach.

It may have been half an hour late setting off, but for the thousands gathered on the pavements it was well worth the wait as they enjoyed one of the best-ever parades, with some stunning floats.

Local groups and organisations had been hard at work on dazzling designs all on the theme of Disney.

The colourful cavalcade was bursting with Peter Pans, Captain Hooks, Jungle Book stars, Alices, Queens of Hearts, Lion Kings, Robin Hoods, Snow Whites and dozens of Dwarves, and, of course, there was Micky and Minnie, Donald and Mary Poppins.

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Costumes were excellent and those inside them were clearly having lots of fun, and the 40ft trailers were packed with scenery, props and people.

The procession featured more than 50 entries and took 40 minutes to go past.

It was led by the dancers and musicians of the Suffolk School of Samba as it left High Road East to go down Hamilton Road on its two-mile trip.

Near the front were carnival queen Faye Lloyd, 19, holding the title for the second year running, and her princesses Becky Vinecombe, 13, a pupil at Deben High School, and Sarah Hawes, 11, a pupil at Grange Primary, waving happily to the crowds lining the route.

A wide variety of organisations had provided floats, including the Adastral Close Residents' Association, Conkers, St Andrew's Pre-School, Ipswich Odeon, Felixstowe Fuchsia Society, 8th Felixstowe Scouts, Felixstowe Royal British Legion Club, Level 2 youth centre, Fludyer Hotel, The Caretaker's House, Felixstowe and District Childminders, and Dennis Lowe Theatre Company.

Felixstowe Beach holiday park produced one of the most ambitious floats of the day – Mary Poppins, complete with street, St Paul's, house and fairground ride.

There were plenty of fancy dress characters along the way, commercial vehicles and also the Technotronics, Felixstowe Poloz, Ipswich Imperials and Ipswich Silver Spinners majorettes troupes.

Carnival secretary Richard Stewart said the parade had been a bit late setting off because the judging had taken longer than expected.

"I think the parade was excellent and I hope people enjoyed it – the town centre was packed," said Mr Stewart.

"People seem to work harder and harder every year on the floats. We have a reputation for being a big carnival and the entries know they have to be just that bit extra special if they are to pick up an award.

"The weather was perfect, too, and we couldn't have got better if we had ordered it!"