Hopes for high turnout as Leigh Park carnival organisers go for forces theme

CAMOUFLAGE Stacey Poolman and John Statham get ready for the Leigh Park Carnival, which this year has an armed forces theme.      Picture: Paul Jacobs (112230-2)
CAMOUFLAGE Stacey Poolman and John Statham get ready for the Leigh Park Carnival, which this year has an armed forces theme. Picture: Paul Jacobs (112230-2)
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PEOPLE dressed in forces gear will parade through Leigh Park tomorrow to mark the beginning of the biggest event in the estate’s summer calendar.

And organisers of the Leigh Park Carnival are calling on those with scooters of all kinds – including mobility scooters – to dress them up too and join the procession.

FUN People enjoying the carnival in 2009

FUN People enjoying the carnival in 2009

The event is being held on the same day as Armed Forces Day in aid of Help for Heroes to show the area’s support for brave servicemen and women.

There will be activities and performances in the main arena at the carnival on Stockheath Common, including a novelty dog show and dance displays from South Zone Academy and Motive8.

Chairman of the carnival’s organising committee John Statham said: ‘Because of the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the number of soldiers that have been lost out there, the armed forces are at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment.

‘We wanted to do our bit for them and show them how much they are appreciated.

‘And there’s no better way to do this than by raising money at the carnival, because that’s what it’s all about – bringing the community together and supporting each other.’

John Russell, 70, of Botley Drive, ran a stall at the event last year and enjoyed it so much he decided to join the organising committee this year.

He said: ‘It’s a great day out for all the family and all different ages, because there are so many different things going on.

‘People love watching the shows in the arena and then wandering about the stalls, and going on the fairground too.

‘Hopefully the weather will hold up and bring lots of people out.’

An African band will stage a show at the fundraising event, and Leigh Park Community Choir will perform.

In the afternoon there will be a dove release to celebrate the lives of all the servicemen and women who have died in battle.

The procession meets at Front Lawn Recreation Ground, on Somborne Drive, at 10am, and will leave at 10.30am in order to arrive at Stockheath Common for 11am – as the carnival opens.

The event will run until 4pm and is free to get in.

Organisers would like to stress that anyone can enter the car boot sale or the novelty dog show and there is no need to register first.

ROUTE

The procession will leave Front Lawn Recreation Ground at 10.30am, then go along Park Parade, up Greywell Road, then to Dunsbury Way.

From there, they will move on to Bramdean Drive, down to Riders Lane, then to Purbrook Way, and finally arrive on Stockheath Common for 11am in time for the carnival starting.