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GALLERY: Hundreds visit town for annual carnival which was saved from cancellation

PUBLISHED: 12:30 28 September 2017

Carnival of the Dead.

Carnival of the Dead.

Archant

A Somerset town’s carnival returned bigger and better than ever after almost being cancelled.

Old MacDonald and friends. Old MacDonald and friends.

The Blackberry Carnival saw 17 different floats, walkers and cyclists take to the streets of Axbridge in fancy dress to celebrate the town and all the people in it.

Axbridge Carnival Queen and her attendants. Axbridge Carnival Queen and her attendants.

The annual fair also returned last Saturday with a number of fairground rides for everyone to enjoy.

Tina's Tots and the Milkybar Kid. Tina's Tots and the Milkybar Kid.

Families, community groups and business owners dressed up as superheroes, cartoon characters, police officers and suffragettes.

The Axbridge Police Force. The Axbridge Police Force.

Carnival committee chairman and town councillor Beverly Davies told the Mercury the event ‘could not have gone better’.

Axbridge Suffragettes. Axbridge Suffragettes.

She added: “It was brilliant and the committee is really pleased with how everything went.

Super Saxon J.F.C. Super Saxon J.F.C.

“There was no theme this year as we wanted as many people as possible to get involved and, as a result, we saw the most entries we have had in a long time.

Carnival of the Dead. Carnival of the Dead.

“There were lots of people who came down to watch the carnival and take part.”

Axbridge Brownies. Axbridge Brownies.

Former committee chairman Robin Mace addressed the crowd at the town council’s annual general meeting in April and said the event could be cancelled if new committee members did not come forward.

Axbridge Guides. Axbridge Guides.

Mr Mace said number of the committee members had ‘no more to give’ and needed ‘new blood’ to take over.

Ther Roxy Cinema presents Ther Roxy Cinema presents "JAWS"

Cllr Davies and a group of eight other people came forward to show their support and get the event up and running again, organising the full event in under five months.

Axbridge Blackberry Carnival. Axbridge Blackberry Carnival.

The Blackberry Carnival has been a landmark occasion in the town’s calendar since the 1960s and is held in September to coincide with the berry-picking season.

Axbridge Blackberry Carnival. Axbridge Blackberry Carnival.

Cllr Davies said the committee has agreed to run the carnival again next year and has already started to plan a number of events for the year ahead to raise money for the festivities.

She added: “Now we know what we have to tweak and boost the event ready for next year.

“We have had so much support from outside of the committee which, without those people, this event would not have taken place.”

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