Organisers of Leighton Buzzard Carnival always hope that fine weather will bless the town’s annual showpiece event, but this year the ongoing heatwave caused the numbers enjoying the fun to wilt somewhat.
Football fans watching England’s third place play-off World Cup match with Belgium is also believed to have had an impact, but those who did turn out for the carnival had plenty to savour.
This year’s theme was Myths, Magic and Legends and there were plenty of creative ideas in the procession.
It included 2018’s Carnival Court of Princess Maiya Holmes, Senior Princess Nicole Janes and Princess Alannah Moffatt.
There was also a full programme of entertainment in Parson’s Close Recreation Ground.
Carnival spokesman Mark Freeman said: “It was a real scorcher on Saturday. The hottest carnival I have been involved in! The heat and football had an impact on the attendance, which was lower than we would have liked.
“It was a shame for the stallholders who come to raise money for their organisations and also for the performers in the arena.
“These groups have an opportunity to showcase their skills and expertise, and it is a pity that the crowds weren’t there in greater numbers to support them. Performing in the heat cannot have been easy and we are very grateful for their support.”
Mark added: “The procession was a very high standard with lots of very happy people taking part (and a few dragons too). A big well done to them all, and especially the groups that walked the route. It is a very long route, and some of the walkers were very young. I think the heat only had one victim on the procession, and the youngster concerned had a ride in a fire engine which aided a quick recovery.
“The Fire Service supported us well again, and with them, the two minibuses and the First Aid vehicle, there was plenty of support had others been affected by the temperature. We had plenty of water available for the procession due to the generosity of Morrisons.”
Attention turns already to next year’s event which will be on July 13.
He said: “We are inviting suggestions for the theme, which should be received by 31st July and will be balloted on our website during August. These should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A huge thank you to all those who took part, all the helpers who put the event together, all those who advertised in the programme and sponsored us, S&J Pierce, and to the town council who support us.”
Winners from Carnival 2018 were:
Schools - 1st Pulford VA Lower School, 2nd Beaudesert Lower School, 3rd Leedon Lower School.
Open - 1st Friends Within (LB Mencap), 2nd Brooklands Residents Association.
Walking - 1st First Linslade Beavers, 2nd Dogs for Good, 3rd= Shooting Stars & Doreen’s School of Dance.
Children’s Organisations - 1st Linslade District Guides, 2nd Tilbridge Scout Group, 3rd 5th&7th LB Rainbows.
Peter Lymbery Memorial Shield for Best Procession Entry - Pulford VA Lower School.
Doreen Rolls Memorial Shield for Enthusiasm - Beaudesert Lower School.