Clubs shine at their first carnival parade
RAIN held off for Castle Cary's Illuminated Carnival on Saturday evening, and the first appearance this season of both of the town's carnival clubs: Cary Comedians and the Britannia CC.
There was a new Cary carnival prize for entrants, the Nigel Strickland Cup, awarded for the Best Juvenile Lighting, On A Float Or Group of Masqueraders. The cup was donated by the Britannia CC in memory of Nigel Strickland, an active carnivalite and Britannia CC member for more than 30 years.
Organisers said this year's Cary carnival took more effort than ever with more police recommendations for road closures, barriers and marshalling to meet.
Cary's Carnival Society president Gordon Stockman said: "It took a lot more coordination and people to make this year's carnival work. So I am very grateful to all the marshals – the returning and especially new folk – who volunteered to help us on Saturday."
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Spectator numbers were down by around a third which carnival organisers attribute mainly to the lengthy Network Rail road closure on the A371, at Cary's train station. This led to the collection from spectators realising a third less than in 2012, at £1,725.
Committee member Paul Hansford said: "It's good to know that everyone who came to our carnival gave as generously as ever; it's just a shame that the road closure may have prevented more spectators coming.
"We have still got over £2,000 towards maintaining next year's carnivals, and to support local deserving causes."
Organisers said despite all this, the carnival itself was a great night, with better-than-ever floats and masqueraders. As well as the town's local clubs, the procession featured floats from across the south west, including Magnum CC, (Blandford Forum), Hot Rock CC (Gillingham) and Allsorts CC (Sturminster Newton).
Championship awards went to Cary Comedians CC for their Pirates of Curried Beans (Best Local Float), Hot Rock for Who You Gonna Call? (Best Visiting Float) and the title of best entry overall went to Enspired CC for their animated Festival of the Dragon entry.