Right royal knees-up at St Mary’s Carnival

tCARNIVAL time is fast approaching and first up is Edlesborough Carnival on July 7 - the largest and most successful event of its type in the region.

Thousands of visitors descend on the village which plays host to the St Mary’s Carnival, organised on behalf of Eaton Bray, Edlesborough, Northall and Dagnall.

This year’s theme, naturally, is kings and queens, and there will be a spectacular royally-themed parade through the streets.

Since 2000 the carnival has raised nearly £130,000 for the benefit of the region. Each year the carnival committee distributes money to local good causes, projects and charities.

This year’s principal charity is The Chemotherapy Unit at Luton & Dunstable Hospital.

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    The main carnival procession, led by the Carnival Queen and attendants in an open top limousine, leaves from Eaton Bray at 12.30pm to travel to the main arena on Edlesborough Green an hour later. The parade includes floats from local organisations and schools, The Toddington Marching Band will head the procession accompanied by classic vehicles, villagers and a variety of fancy-dressed volunteers. Edlesborough’s own Penny Green, who will be carrying the Olympic Torch in Dunstable two days later, will also be in the procession in Olympic outfit but sadly without torch.

    Houses on the carnival route are decorated to varying degrees within the carnival theme with the best dressed homes receiving prizes!

    At The Green this year the carnival will be opened by local business-people Ben and Jane Wright who will also be judging the floats and sponsor the prizes for best decorated houses.

    Classic vehicles for your inspection range from open top limousines, tractors and racers, to a fire engine.

    In the Olympic year there will be Carnival Games for youngsters; bouncy castles and slides; a silent auction screaming for you to bid; charity stalls; attractions; a dog show, held in conjunction with the Illustria Kennels, including an extremely popular sausage eating race for dogs and owners; chain saw wood carving demonstrations; award-winning entertainer Magic Dave; the ever-popular Birds of Bray team showing a variety of owls and hawks up close plus a banquet of food stalls. Parking and admittance is free.

    *If your organisation could benefit from a carnival grant, typically between £50 and £250, then write, before the end of August, to Gordon Gray at www.stmarysvillagecarnival.co.uk.