Red Arrows display for 10th carnival
PORTISHEAD carnival kicked off to a breathtaking start to celebrate its 10th year with a display by the Red Arrows.
Crowds of thousands jammed into the Lake Grounds, Battery Point and along the coastal path on Friday night to watch the aerobatic display.
The RAF display team flew into Bristol Airport earlier in the day, performing a couple of stunts for spectators, before taking off at just before 6.20pm to make their way to Portishead.
Carnival organisers Jemma Cooper and Wendy Watkins managed to secure the Red Arrows for the display to celebrate a decade of organising the carnival parade.
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The community spirited duo first managed to bring the Red Arrows to the town in 2005 and were delighted to get the team to perform again to kick off celebrations for this year's event.
Wendy and Jemma said: "Ever since we had the Red Arrows in 2005 it's been our dream to get them back.
"It was such an amazing evening and the Lake Grounds was packed and the Bristol Channel looked spectacular."
The inclement weather also failed to dampen the spirits of the thousands of people who lined the streets to watch the parade of floats and walking entries wind its way from the Lake Grounds to the Flower Show Field.
Hundreds of people took part in the parade on Saturday, from schools to local community groups.
The town's carnival royalty, carnival queen and king Andy Luton and Jo Lawrence, both 50, princess Isabelle Morgan-Jones, 10 and flower princess, Summer Cox, eight, pictured right, led the parade.
Portishead Primary School student Isabelle was attended by Gordano School student Charlie Pike, 12, and Emma Shaw, 11, of St Joseph's Primary.
Summer was attended by Hermione Smith, seven, of St Peter's Primary School and St Joseph's Primary School student, Emily Birdsey, seven.
The royal family made their way through the town in a fleet of vintage cars.
A special float – led by a tractor – carried all of the former carnival royalty from the last ten years through the town.
Dozens of youngsters from St Joseph's Primary School were celebrating after the school's walking entry in the parade – The Plight of the Bumblebee – was awarded the honour of parade supreme champion as well as best school.
The entry, which featured 114 children, saw some dressed as pesticides while others came as flowers and bees.
A special hive had also been created for children who were unable to walk in the parade due to disabilities.
Mum Paula James helped pull the entry together.
She said: "We started planning the entry before Christmas and every one of the bees has a handmade bottom complete with sting.
"It's been a lot of fun and the children love getting involved in the carnival."
Portishead Players dressed as the Red Sparrows, wearing feathered and fluffy bird costumes, while members of Portishead's Best Behaved Dog School decorated their four-legged pals with flowers.
For the Osment family from Portishead, this year's carnival was particularly special as it was the 30th time the family had featured in the parade.
This year the family put together a float on the theme of A Kind of Magic, featuring fairies, witches and magicians.
Twenty two members of the family appeared on the float, pulled together by brothers and sisters Pete, Wendy and Meryl Osment, which featured two grandmothers and 11 grandchildren.
Wendy said: "Our parents used to enter us in the carnival and we have carried on the tradition ever since.
"We have won a few awards in the past, but it's the fun of it that keeps us entering every year."
Following the parade, revellers enjoyed a variety of entertainment on the Flower Show Field.
North Somerset MP Liam Fox and wife Jesme Baird, who made a special visit to celebrate the carnival's 10th birthday, officially kicked off the fun which included fairground rides, stalls and a performance by The Wurzels.