A PROCESSION of colourful cartoon characters made for an amazing sight on the streets of Old Basing as the village hosted its popular annual carnival.
The event, now in its 43rd year, saw groups of schoolchildren, Cubs, Beavers, Brownies and Guides, as well as representatives of local businesses and charities, don an array of impressive outfits to parade through the streets on Saturday.
Starting at 1.30pm in Linden Avenue, the parade wound through the streets to the Recreation Ground, cheered on by crowds of people lining the streets.
The procession was led by the carnival prince and princess in a horse-drawn carriage.
Ryan Drury, eight, and Rosalind Heels, nine, were the lucky children chosen to ride out in front of the procession. Their deputies were Lucy Throswell and Archy Jones, both seven, who were selected as attendants.
The carriage was followed by the Royal British Legion Band, while streetband Soundblast Sinfonia brought up the rear of the procession, which took around 45 minutes to reach its final destination.
The event was officially opened by Father Alec Battey, of St Mary’s Church, Old Basing.
A range of trophies were handed out by the carnival prince and princess, in seven categories, including playgroups, trade and an overall winner, which this year went to the Cubs.
There was plenty of family fun for everyone, with performances by the Basingstoke Tappers, a Caribbean-style steel band and the Everest Steel Pans.
There was also ferret racing, a falconry display, vintage car rally, coconut shy, barbecue, tombola and raffle, which helped raise money on the day.
Since the event was established in 1987, it has raised nearly £64,000 which has been donated to various clubs and organisations.
The event, which is associated with Basingstoke Festival 2014, was organised by Joe Croombs, who took over last year from Beryl Viner. Mrs Viner was due to open the event but was unable to because of ill health.
Mrs Croombs said: “It was a fantastic day and everyone made such an effort. We were particularly thankful for the last-minute support of the falconry group, horse drawn carriage and the official opener as all of these were last- minute changes.
“I think we had the most I’ve seen in the processions for a few years, with lots of effort from the children themselves and we were extremely lucky with the weather.”
She thanked all of those who contributed towards the event for their support, saying: “It really is a group effort.
“We have had some amazing feedback.”