Beauty queens and zombies in 200th Titchfield Carnival

Bright Sparks Pre-School get ready for the parade at the Titchfield Carnival. 'Picture: Mick Young
Bright Sparks Pre-School get ready for the parade at the Titchfield Carnival. 'Picture: Mick Young

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THOUSANDS of people are expected to descend on a village to take part in its 200th annual carnival.

The Titchfield Carnival returns this weekend with a wide range of fun and activities and from zombies to beauty queens, there is something for everybody to enjoy.

Organiser Kate Scott, of the Titchfield Bonfire Boys, said the event was going to be bigger and better than ever before and that she was pleased to see so much support for the historic event.

Ms Scott said: ‘It is going to be brilliant. Everyone is so proud of the carnival. We all remember it as kids as it’s the first school holiday after back from summer.

‘There’s lots of excitement. It’s great how the carnival has kept that tradition and excitement going for so many years.’

Ms Scott said she was particularly excited to see horses return to the carnival.

She said: ‘The horse drawn pantechnicon really is a sight to see. It was used in the 1800s, drawn by two shire horses.

‘It will be the first time in the parade since 1966, it will be a historic moment.’

The Titchfield Carnival was first recorded in the Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle in 1814.

It reported that it had ‘brilliant and tasteful-transparencies, variegated lamps, flags, and devices appropriate to the joyful occasion were to be seen: whilst a band of music paraded the town, the bells rang, guns were fired, and there was a grand display of fireworks.’

Ms Scott is hoping that this year will be a great success, and that people come along and join in the fun.

The fun starts at 4pm today when hundreds of people dressed as zombies parade through the streets.

At 1pm tomorrow, 140 classic and vintage vehicles will put on a show in the village, followed by a cavalcade.

The afternoon carnival procession starts 3pm with scores of brightly-coloured floats.

London Imperial College Choir, Big Noise Samba Band, Meridian Corps of Drum, Bournemouth Carnival Band and the Dolphin Marching band will all be taking part.

Miss Universe UK Grace Levy, who was once a Titchfield carnival queen herself, will present the carnival queen with her crown, which has been designed by renown jeweller Mark Hussey, who made the world’s most expensive Christmas bauble.

There will be a further illuminated parade at 6.45pm and there will be a funfair on Barry’s Meadow until 9.30pm, including face painting, a rodeo bull, pole dancing and hula hoop competitions.

There will be live music provided by The Italian Job and Steven Silk and the lighting of the beacon will take place at 8.30pm.