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Sheppey carnival to honour 999 services on Saturday

Sheppey's carnival girls have been making a splash on the seafront preparing for their big parade on Saturday.

This year's float, designed by artist Richard Jeferies, is a tribute to the emergency services and has pictures of the police, fire-fighters, paramedics and even a Kent air ambulance helicopter.

During a trip to the beach the girls spied a paddle-board used by the RNLI's lifeguards and were hoping to commandeer it for this weekend's carnival.

Making a splash: Sheppey carnival girls on the beach preparing for their big parade on Saturday. From the left, Lois Kidd, 10, Keira Collins-Kiazia, 13, carnival queen Melody Jackson, 15, Darcey Kidd, 14, and Paige Heaton, 14, with Sheppey Rosebud Evie Bowes, 5, in the front. Picture: John Nurden (15016567)
Making a splash: Sheppey carnival girls on the beach preparing for their big parade on Saturday. From the left, Lois Kidd, 10, Keira Collins-Kiazia, 13, carnival queen Melody Jackson, 15, Darcey Kidd, 14, and Paige Heaton, 14, with Sheppey Rosebud Evie Bowes, 5, in the front. Picture: John Nurden (15016567)

The parade will be led by the Old School Samba Band and will feature the Croydon Steel Band and the Pom Pom Wondergirls of Bognor Regis.

There will be 13 carnival courts from across Kent taking part.

Carnival chairman Bob McCall said: "We already have three lorries booked and 30 other floats but are happy to take late entries on the day.

Sheppey carnival girls at the sandpit preparing for their big parade on Saturday. From the left, Lois Kidd, 10, Keira Collins-Kiazia, 13, carnival queen Melody Jackson, 15, Darcey Kidd, 14, and Paige Heaton, 14, with Sheppey Rosebud Evie Bowes, 5, in the front. Picture: John Nurden (15016565)
Sheppey carnival girls at the sandpit preparing for their big parade on Saturday. From the left, Lois Kidd, 10, Keira Collins-Kiazia, 13, carnival queen Melody Jackson, 15, Darcey Kidd, 14, and Paige Heaton, 14, with Sheppey Rosebud Evie Bowes, 5, in the front. Picture: John Nurden (15016565)

"We are particularly interested in pedestrians in fancy dress or decorated prams, wheelbarrows and mobility scooters. We were very impressed with how many entered the new-look Whitstable carnival recently."

Collections will be made on the day.

It costs £4,000 a year to keep the carnival on the road. Others, like Sandwich, have been forced to fold.

Sheppey carnival girls jumping for joy as they prepare for their big parade on Saturday. From the left, Lois Kidd, 10, Keira Collins-Kiazia, 13, carnival queen Melody Jackson, 15, Darcey Kidd, 14, and Paige Heaton, 14, with Sheppey Rosebud Evie Bowes, 5, in the front. Picture: John Nurden (15016559)
Sheppey carnival girls jumping for joy as they prepare for their big parade on Saturday. From the left, Lois Kidd, 10, Keira Collins-Kiazia, 13, carnival queen Melody Jackson, 15, Darcey Kidd, 14, and Paige Heaton, 14, with Sheppey Rosebud Evie Bowes, 5, in the front. Picture: John Nurden (15016559)

There will be a funfair at Beachfields Park on the seafront around the sandpit and a free fireworks display on the beach at dusk.

This year's senior carnival court features queen Melody Jackson, 15, from Minster with princesses Darcey Kidd from Halfway and Paige Heaton from Sheerness. Both are 14.

The junior court comprises Keira Collins-Kiazia, 13, Lois Kidd, 10, and Isobel McCarrick, eight. Sheppey Rosebud Evie Bowes, five, will be on a police bike.

The Bognor Regis Wondergirls pom-pom troupe are returning to Sheppey this Saturday (15324294)
The Bognor Regis Wondergirls pom-pom troupe are returning to Sheppey this Saturday (15324294)

Judging starts at 4.30pm in New Road and the parade starts at 5.30pm. It will go along Millennium Way, Trinity Road, Marine Parade, Alma Road and then along the High Street and past the clock tower at 6.30pm where the Sheppey FM roadshow and the Sign To Sing choir will be.

Swale mayor Cllr Ken Ingleton will take the salute at the end of the parade outside the KwikFit garage.

For details of how to take part, call Bob and the team on 01795 667927.

Read more Isle of Sheppey stories here.

Croydon Steet Band from the Sheppey Carnival 2017 (15324254)
Croydon Steet Band from the Sheppey Carnival 2017 (15324254)
Past Sheppey canrival winners Balloonatics (15324269)
Past Sheppey canrival winners Balloonatics (15324269)

For more ideas on days out and things to do, head to our What’s On section.

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