Cleethorpes Carnival

GHoPA took part in Cleethorpes Carnival 2015 40th parade

CLEETHORPES Carnival is over for another year after thousands of people lined the streets to watch the annual parade pass through the resort.

Around 80 floats set off from Sidney Park on Saturday afternoon before making their way up Isaac’s Hill and along the promenade before making their way to the finish at Meridian Showground.

The event, celebrating its 40th year, was hailed as a great success with the sun shining down on the resort, allowing the crowds to bask in the sunshine.

Since 1976, organisations, schools, businesses, individuals, lorries, cars and animals have all been spotted at the parade with everything from colourful push bikes to trucks adorned with streamers and balloons.

Highlights included Bin Bot, a giant pink robot made from wheelie bins, a Transformer Truck, the Bloco Fogo samba band, a Firebird and the popular Granny Turismo – alongside a host of brightly-coloured and music-filled floats representing local schools, businesses and organisations.

The Carnival Prince and Princess also took a leading role in the parade.

As reported, hundreds of people voted to decide who led the parade with Grimsby Telegraph readers having the difficult task of whittling down the entrants to a shortlist.

The eventual winners were Carnival Princess Mia-Ella Enefer, 8, and Carnival Prince Ben Smith.

Mia-Ella said: “I’ve been so excited about this I’ve been telling my mum I’m almost ready to pop.

“I’m a bit nervous about being in front of the big crowds but I’ve been practising my wave for a few weeks so I should be fine.”

Ben, from Cleethorpes, said: “I’m really excited about it, it’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like this.

“I can’t wait to see all the crowds.”

The pair led the parade in stylish topless cars as they waved to the large crowds.

Of course, Cleethorpes Carnival has not been without its problems – at one point not so many years ago it looked set to go for good.

But, thanks to Young’s, who stepped in to save the day, it survived to fight another carnival day and this year was stronger than ever before.

Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Councillor Cliff Barber, took part with his Konigswinter counterpart – to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its twinning with Cleethorpes.

Cllr Barber said: “It’s fantastic to celebrate the 40 years our two towns have been twinned, it’s a great occasion.

“It’s also a fabulous event for the resort and it’s great to see such a good turnout. It’s brought people from all over.”

A group of Stormtroopers brought in plenty of attention before the parade even got going.

Mark McFarland said: “We’re proving to be quite popular with everyone and a lot of people are coming up to us and asking if we can pose for a picture, which we’re only too happy to do.

“This is the first time I have personally been involved with the event but we do a lot of these parades all over the country, but it’s great to be here in Cleethorpes.

“It looks like a really good event and we’re happy to be part of it.”

Ben Raine, one of the operators of the Firebirds and Bin Bot, added: “We’re all pleased to be here, we just hope we go down well with the crowds.

“It looks like a great turnout and it’s a fabulous event for this area – just look at how many people have come to see it.”

The carnival was also a great opportunity for local organisations to raise money for charity.

Bluebird Care, a homecare agency which operates in North East Lincolnshire, were handing out prizes to vulnerable and disabled spectators.

Director Victoria Webber said: “I think this is an absolutely brilliant event – it’s the third time we have taken part.

“It’s great fun for everyone involved but it also helps raise a lot of cash for charity.”

Julie Burrell, chair of Cuddles Cat Rescue, added: “There seems to be a really great atmosphere and it’s a lot of fun to take part.

“It’s a great chance for us to advertise our charity.”

David Wrightam, director of Class Act Theatre Company, used the parade to advertise the group’s upcoming musical Half A Sixpence at the Parkway Theatre.

He said: “Rehearsals have been going really well and I think we’ve got a really great show to put on.

“We’re also celebrating our 15th anniversary to this is a great chance to have a bit of fun.”

He added: “I think the carnival brings the town together and you can tell there’s a real sense of community, which is what it’s all about.

“Some people think it’s all about dressing up and funny floats, but this is Grimsby not Disneyland.”