Witney Carnival went ahead last weekend after two years of being shelved because of the pandemic.

The event took place on Saturday with bustling crowds met to celebrate the theme Witney: Celebrating HM Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The carnival began with a Grand Procession through the centre of the town – which continues for 45 minutes - with 28 colourful floats, two steam engines, cycle clubs, marching bands, local school children and two bands.

When it last took place in 2019, hundreds of residents lined the streets to watch a convoy of floats, plus 28 schools, clubs and organisations before heading to The Leys for an afternoon of entertainment.

This year saw a stage with music for all ages in attendance, along with roaming musical acts and speciality children’s entertainers performing throughout the afternoon.

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There was also a funfair and, of course, the famous grand old Smiley steam train slaloming its way through the attractions.

Local businesses and traders showed off their wares on trade and craft stalls.

Plus, there was also a huge range of food and drinks on offer.

The well renowned Dog Show, held under the Kennel Club rules and regulations, was unfortunately cancelled this year due to excessive heat.

Witney Carnival was organised by the local Rotary Club, Lions Club, Round Table and Royal Air Force Air Cadets.

Procession organiser David Lord said: “After two years of isolation, Witney really enjoyed itself once again.

“The theme this year was the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which came off really nicely and everyone was decorated to celebrate it.

“After the procession took place, we all went to The Leys, which absolutely lends itself to a carnival event.

“There was something for everyone. My highlight was seeing the procession form up, and seeing the delight on all the young people’s faces.

“Witney is back to an annual event.”

Witney Carnival Chairman Ron Spurs said: “It’s so much fun to plan this event. We started planning in October last year, working with the Town Council to ensure what we deliver is appropriate and safe.

“The real highlight is the procession, and what I noticed in the town centre is how many people were really enjoying what they were seeing.

“Post Covid it’s one of the major family events that the town has, and people were genuinely pleased that we are getting back to normal.

“The thing to remember is that the carnival is free; it’s for families to come and enjoy themselves without spending a penny, and all the proceeds go to charity.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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