Hundreds cheer on Whitehaven Carnival

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WILLY Wonka met Aladdin as Whitehaven Carnival made its way through the town's streets in a sea of colour.

Dancing girls, sequins and colourful creations brought hundreds of people out to the annual event.

The parade made its way through the town providing entertainment, dancing and music.

Crowds of all ages laughed and cheered as they enjoyed everything from spectacular floats to fancy dress fun.

Carnival Queen Ellie Bristoe, 13, of Greenbank, Whitehaven, who has been dancing with Cowper School of Dance for seven years said it was "an honour" to be chosen for the 'royal' occasion.

Seventy dancers from the long-standing dance school took part. Principal Adrienne Kelly said all the mums helped to decorate the carnival float the day before and they really enjoyed the day.

Cheryl Frears, of Cheryl's Pop Steps Dance Academy, had 44 pupils taking part ranging from age three to 18.

And 35 children and parents from St James' Infant School, Whitehaven, took a trophy for its 'Bygone Whitehaven' display.

Claire Fisher, one of the parents, said: "It was really nice to win, the children are very excited."

Acting assistant headteacher Emma Butterworth, said: "We're over the moon, the children and parents worked very hard."

While Orgill Primary School, Egremont, with its eye-catching Willy Wonka theme, won best float

Susan Fryer and Linda Thorogood were judging for the first time and were impressed with the turnout.

"It was very difficult to judge, everyone put so much effort into it," said Linda. "

Others taking part included Moky Fit, Whitehaven Judo Club, Stage Stars, Cheer Fitness and Fun, Ignite Dance Academy, Whitehaven Theatre Group, Whitehaven and District Amateur Operatic Society and Egremont Crab Fair, as well as a Scottish pipe band.

A carnival queen crowning ceremony took place in Castle Park later in the afternoon as the dancing and entertainment continued as well as a fun fair, bouncy castles and stalls.

The popular carnival has been running for more than 40 years, with the Whitehaven and District Lions organising it for around 20 years.

One of the volunteers Eric Urquhart said: "It was very successful. The number of participants in the streets and in the parade was very good, as was the crowds.

"And I was particularly impressed with the patience and reaction of the public, particularly motorists," he added.

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