by Graham Tutthill
Dover Carnival was a colourful and noisy affair on Sunday, with more than 30 entries ranging from children in fancy dress to staff from local businesses with fully-decorated artic lorries.
Pride of place in the procession went to the Court of Dover led by Queen Carris Ffrench. She was joined on the newly-constructed float by her princesses Kayleigh Anderton and Laura McDermott, the Junior Court, Holly Andrew, Katie Sheppard and Tia Quint, and rosebud queen Ysabelle Rogers.
The float, which volunteers had been working on for months, was unveiled for the first time at the regatta on Saturday.
The floats, majorettes and fancy dress contestants assembled in the car park at Maison Dieu Road and then made their way around the town via Castle Street, Market Square (pictured left), Cannon Street, Biggin Street, High Street, Bridge Street and Charlton Green, returning to Maison Dieu Road again.
It was organised by the Dover Town Carnival group which was formed last year when the previous organisers were unable to arrange a carnival parade.
One of the most energetic performances came from the steel band Bloco Fogo, sponsored by Dover Town Council. Also completing the procession on foot were the award-winning, all-girl marching band the Haverettes, from Essex, and majorette groups the Medway Silver Stars and Hawkinge Flyers.
The band of the 354 (Dover) Squadron of the Air Training Corps took part as did the 15th Dover Scouts, Dance Dedication, Dover, Deal and Sandwich Children’s Centres, Beddow Academy, Prince Albert pub, Country Brides (pictured right) and the 79th Cameron Highlanders who were there with the Western Heights Preservation Society.
As well as the Dover court, there were 12 visiting carnival courts from throughout Kent with Minster taking the top prize. Other winners included the newly-formed Mascarada costume hire business, the Dover Marina Hotel and Spa and the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.
Carnival secretary Michelle Sheppard said she was pleased with the response for this year's eventl.
She particularly thanked Coombe Valley Transport and NT Rix Scaffolding for providing trucks or towing vehicles for some of the floats.
Full report, results and more pictures in this week's Dover Mercury, out on Thursday.