Movie magic coming to Leighton Buzzard

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Lights... camera... ACTION!

Movie magic comes to Leighton Buzzard this Saturday with the town’s annual carnival having a film theme.

The procession will be led by Nexus Pipe and Drum Corps who are being sponsored by Leighton-Linslade Arts Forum. One of the leading pipe and drum corps in the country, Nexus will also perform in the arena during the afternoon.

There will be walking and cycling groups as well as the floats, many being provided again by S&J Pierce at no cost to the groups entering them.

Final numbers of floats will not be known until very close to carnival day, but they are sure to bring the usual splash of colour and excitement to the procession.

The fire service will be taking part (subject to call-outs) as will the St John Ambulance and a vintage bus carrying the procession judges – Mayor Ray Berry, Mayoress Val Berry, Town Clerk Mark Saccoccio and Hannah Soccoccio, plus co-proprietor of Quarters Estate Agents, Ellie Higginson.

But pride of place in the procession will go to the float carrying the 2015 Carnival Queen Holly Porter and carnival princesses Eva Patterson and Lottie Bates.

The procession will follow the same route as in previous years, leaving Cedars Upper School at 12noon and is scheduled to arrive at Parsons Close Recreation Ground at about 1.45pm.

The entertainment at the Rec runs from 11am to 5pm, with the return of all the most popular attractions.

Children’s rides and inflatables will be run by the Gumble family and will be sited in the area near the children’s play park.

The 2014 carnival court in Leighton

The 2014 carnival court in Leighton

The funfair will be located on the lower field and is run, as always, by the long established Miller family from Leighton Road. This year the funfair will operate from 11am until 8pm on carnival day.

Stalls run by many charities, organisations and local businesses will feature at the top of the park, alongside a display from sponsor Grovebury Cars.

Refreshments will be run Heath Scouts and other charities. There will also be commercial refreshment stands including Thai and Caribbean foods. The beer tent will be run by 1Stop Marquees.

Leighton-Linslade Music Centre is holding its summer concert in the bandstand and will include many of the groups that regularly meet and practice at Vandyke Upper School on Saturday mornings.

Nexus in the carnival arena from 2014

Nexus in the carnival arena from 2014

The arena has a full programme of local talent showing what they spend all year working on. This covers Shooting Stars Majorettes, Harlequin Gymnastics, Nexus Pipe and Drum Corps, Uptown Funkers, Brass and Plastic and Tenacity street-dancing.

During the day there will be stewards and cadets around the recreation ground with collecting buckets.

Planning for carnival by Mark Freeman of the carnival committee...

There is no break for the small team of volunteers that organise carnival in their spare time. We start working on the next carnival as soon as the current one is over.

The committee meets every month to plan the carnival itself, and the selection events for the Queen and Princesses. The meetings are held at the Royal British Legion Club.

We decide on the distribution of the carnival profits at the September meeting, looking at the organisations that have been nominated using the form in the carnival programme.

This task is getting harder by the year. More organisations are in need of support and carnival profits have been reducing because we have frozen our charges for stalls and advertising in the programme.

We know that everyone is finding times harder so we have tried to minimise costs to those who come to carnival.

Nevertheless, we still are able to distribute over £3,500 to organisations that benefit the town. Of course, not everyone that is nominated for support can be successful but we try to be fair in our distribution.

Virtually all the work to run the carnival is undertaken by the committee, Local companies and individuals are subjected to our committee members trying to persuade them to sponsor carnival, advertise in the programme or give us prizes etc. We try to minimise our expenditure wherever possible knowing that every pound we spend is a pound less to give away. We are very grateful to all those who support us, especially the town council who give us a grant and allow us the use of the recreation ground and S&J Pierce who provide so much support to the procession.

Last year the carnival committee bought its own fencing to form the arena. This was financed by local sponsors, whose banners will be displayed around the arena. We have also lent this to other groups running community events.

The committee is always looking for new active members. The more people prepared to get involved, the easier the workload for each individual person. Contact us through our website, also created and maintained by ourselves, at www.leightoncarnival.co.uk