Pewsey did what it does best on Saturday night – threw a spectacular celebration of community spirit to which everyone was invited.
And as the climactic end to the 114th Pewsey Carnival – a fortnight of fun and frivolity – the procession was one of the best in recent years.
It took three quarters of an hour from the bang of the rocket – signifying the start of the procession at 7.30pm – for the floats to wend its way King Arthur’s statue in the centre of the village, where strings of coloured lights were reflected on the surface of the River Avon.
Once the first float arrived, the crowds were treated to over an hour of entertainment as the illuminated procession passed by.
It was 70 minutes of music, colour and smiling faces led by the King’s Korner Band and followed by the carnival’s royal family: carnival queen Sophie Bryant and her attendants Jade Nelson and Katherine Lofthouse, carnival princess Courtney Clark, carnival prince Alfie Thorne and flower girl Sophie Farr.
There were winners, of course, but no losers; there wasn’t a bad float among the lot. Individuals, clubs, pubs, families, and friends spent weeks preparing costumes and floats, and the effort really showed.
And even when things went wrong, the crowd lapped up the spectacle. The sight of a group of lads in from the Moonrakers Inn re-hitching their Hawaii 5-0 float to the tractor in Hawaiian shirts and comedy police helmets garnered the biggest cheer of the night.
The winners in the large float (over 9m) category were Party Animals for their jubilee themed Queen on Tour float, which saw adults dressed as Beefeater and Queen’s Guards while kids, dressed as Freddie Mercury in trademark yellow jackets and black moustaches, mimed to the hits of Queen.
Pinball Wizard – a tribute to The Who – scooped second prize, with one member of the Has Beens playing the Pete Townsend role of Tommy, while others dressed as wizards, or donned silver mini dresses and platform boots to play the parts of pinballs. In third place was Face Envy’s Big Top Circus, featuring adults and children in clown and circus performer costumes.
In the smaller float (under 9m) category, there was a tie between the Amor and Plank Families’ Don’t Wok the Boat, a Chinese dragon boat manned by coolies and Kevin Arthur and Friends with Madonna – a tribute to the singer’s Like A Prayer video, with a mix of raunchy and religious costumes. In third place were the Pewsey Old Broilers, who performed YMCA by the Village People while dressed as chickens.
The community and beginner class for newcomers and smaller community groups was won by Russell Fishlock & Co and their Bee Gees tribute. Russ Buck with Millionaires on Tour scooped second place, with Paula Baker’s Toy Soldiers third.
In the hand-propelled float/cart category, Pewsey Vale Running Club took podium position with their Rocky Horror Show. Saffron, Hannah and Lucy were second with their The Yo Ho Ho’s, and in third place was Spanswick and Lund – The Full Moon Party
Helps and Martins’ Mad Hatters Tea Party won the walkers category, with De Pass’ Robin Hood in second place and Amor and Friends’ Dad’s Army in third. The Ron Oram Cup for best local float was won by the Amor and Plank Families’ Don’t Wok the Boat.
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