Published: 13:34, 18 August 2019
| Updated: 10:09, 19 August 2019
A giant whale, a coven of witches and a float full of superheroes.
What more could you want for the annual Sheppey Summer Carnival?
There was hubble bubble toil and trouble as witches and warlocks clad in purple took to their broomsticks and a giant whale was wheeled through the streets to warn how oceans are being polluted by plastic.
The whale, filled with waste by Robert Hogden of the East Climate Action Group, had been invited onto the Island by Phil Crowder who is behind the Plastic Free Sheerness campaign.
He said: "It took a lot of effort to transport it from Deal and then to pull it around the streets of Sheerness. But judging from people's reactions it was well worth it."
Others highlights included the Wonder Girls pom-pom dancers, plus boys, from Bognor Regis; the Song Signing choir led by Sittingbourne deaf mum Becki Breiner, who launched her first television show Come Sign With Me on KMTV the same day; and 8th Sheppey Scouts who commandeered a lorry and dressed as superheroes.
Song Signers on the move
Members of Eden School of Dance also acquired a lorry and came third with a seaside fantasy of mermaids and unicorn ponies. Balloonatics put on a good show, despite a last-minute panic to obtain a generator, showering the crowds with their water pistols.
Youngsters from Kooties Kids completed the Sheppey carnival route on their 'learner' scooters, winning the Walking Shield and coming first in the best decorated car category and top for junior fancy dress on Saturday.
There was also Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper from Star Wars who were in town to promote next month's Sittingbourne Sci-Fi festival.
Feel the Force
The Old School Samba Band led the procession which featured a number of carnival queens from other areas including Sittingbourne, Teynham, Faversham and Deal.
The Mayor of Swale Cllr Ken Ingleton travelled in the car pulling the Sheppey carnival court's float and took the salute at the end of the parade at the Kwik Fit garage.
Many of the crowd then finished the night at the funfair at Beachfields and watched the free fireworks provided by amusement arcade boss Thomas Holland.
Carnival treasurer Joan McCall said: "It was one of our best carnivals and certainly had many people lining the streets. I'd like to thank everyone who turned up, including our marshalls and especially all those who entered floats. We can't do it without them.
"There is only a small committee. We desperately need businesses, holiday parks and youth and community groups to continue to support us otherwise Sheppey will go the same way as Sandwich, Canterbury and Ashford and lose its carnival within five years."
She added: "People don't realise how much it costs to stage. Each marching band, for instance, is around £500."
There were pleas on social media to bring back the Sheppey Zulus who blacked up but she insisted: "They were an independent group who happened to take part in the carnival. When they tried to reform there wasn't enough support from people prepared to join."
Best band: Old School Samba. Cadet and youth: 8th Sheppey Scouts. Majorettes: 1. Rainham Rangerettes; 2. Island Allstars. Voluntary: 1. 8th Sheppey Scouts; 2. Waste Whale; 3. Eden School of Dance. Decorated car: 1. Kooties; 2. Sing and Sign; 3. 4x4 Trolls.
Trade float: 1. Balloonatic; 2. Sittingbourne Greyhounds; 3. Dominoes. Float: no entry. Pub or social club: no entry. Decorated bike or pram: no entry.
Walkers: 1. Kooties; 2. Toil & Trouble; 3. Sing and Sign. Junior fancy dress: 1. Kooties; 2. 8th Sheppey Scouts; 3.Eden School of Dance. Senior fancy dress: Sing and Sign. Adult fancy dress: 1. Sheppey Utd Disability FC; 2. Beginners2Runners; 3. Toil & Trouble.
Cheerleaders/pom pom: Wonder Girls. Dance groups: 1. Toil and Trouble. Overall float: 1. Balloonatic; 2. 8th Sheppey Scouts; 3. Eden School of Dance.
The carnival collection was £383.30 which was slightly down on last year.
Eden School of Dance