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the Parade

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Despite most of the rest of the country being flooded, Whitehaven Carnival 2012 was a dry event and for the most part even had some sunshine. It was also a good turn out from the marchers and floats and was the perfect antidote to what has been a very damp summer.

fire engine leads the parade

The parade was led not only by a large red fire engine but a police squad car with blue lights flashing.

Whitehaven brass band

This was followed by the only only proper band in this year's carnival which was the Whitehaven Brass band in their smart green uniforms.

Whitehaven Sea Cadets

Following the band was a contingent of Naval cadets carrying a flag from the Training Ship Bee based on the Old New Quay at Whitehaven harbour .

Rob Romano Whitehaven town crier

They were followed by the town crier Rob Romano, who does a sterling job promoting the town. He was handing out some union flags to youngsters to wave as the procession passed by. This was only the start of the patriotic feel to this years carnival - what with the Queens Diamond Jubilee festival and the London 2012 olympics there was plenty to inspire this year's entrants with a national theme.

Jocelyn Lace

Of course it was only a few weeks since Whitehaven had the honour of taking part in the Olympic torch route and two of the Whitehaven torch bearers took part in the procession. The first was Jocelyn Lace who marched with her torch in front of the Starkey school of dance.

Shammem Arnold Moky Fitness

The second Olympic torch bearer in the procession was Shameem Arnold who was appearing with her Moky fitness group who exercised their way around the procession route and then again on the bandstand in castle park.

Mayor Peter Tyson

This year's Copeland Mayor was Cllr. Peter Tyson who was accompanied by his attendant and John Jewell the chairman of the Lions who do a great job every year organising the carnival. There was also a real live lion that managed to walk on its hind legs all the way - unless that was the chairman's wife in fancy dress.

Jungle Book snake

Rosehill theatre had a great float based on the Jungle Book story and behind that they had this representation of Kaa the Indian python performed by several youth theatre members.

Jungle Book Monkeys

The snake was followed by everybody's favourite monkeys from the jungle book with some very good costumes accompanied by Bagheera the black panther and Hathi the elephant.

Monkey costume

Another big headed monkey followed them which was one of several costumed characters which were very entertaining for the younger kids watching.

Herlid Vikings

The Herlid Viking re-enactments society were out in force with their very authentic costumes and as well as marching occasionally feigned attacks on spectators to add bit of excitement to the parade. The Herlid Viking group was last featured when they helped to launch a new gallery at the Beacon back in February.

carnival elephant

The most fantastic entrant in this year's carnival was this virtually life-size model of an elephant which led a circus troupe. It had been cleverly mounted on wheels so that it was easier to manage than a real elephant and didn't need someone with a shovel following behind.

Stagestars circus dancers in the parade

Behind the elephant was a collection of small but very colourful little clowns who were part of the Stagestars dance troupe's circus theme.

Fairtrade carnival from Jericho school

Jericho had a theme based on Fairtrade which endeavours to give producers a reasonably price for their goods and thus allow them to raise their standard of living. This involved some kids dressing up as huge bright yellow bananas which made a big impact.

Stix Percusion in the Carnival

For several years now the Stix percussion school led by Andy Kelly have featured in the carnival and this year they produced over a dozen drummers to add their samba rhythm to the parade.

Man riding on an ostrich

Back in the carnival was the Bernie Clifton style man riding an ostrich type bird. This was a great interactive entrant for the kids supporting the carnival along the route.

Haig miners banner

A more traditional entry for a northern parade like this was a miner's banner, to celebrate the town's history of coal extraction, which was a combined effort from The Beacon, Haig Colliery Mining Museum and New Arts North.


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Herlid Vikings at the Beacon

©WAWL 2012