More than 7,000 people made this year’s Accrington Carnival one of the most successful in recent years.
Huge crowds lined the streets for the procession of floats and walkers in their best classic TV and film themed fancy dress as they walked through the town centre.
The parade was led by celebrity guest Michelle Keegan who was a huge hit with carnival-goers and her boyfriend and former The Only Way is Essex star Mark Wright also put in a surprise appearance.
Despite two bouts of torrential rain carnival organiser Tracy Simmonds from Accrington Lions said there had been a great atmosphere.
She said: “Michelle Keegan was fantastic. She had some banter with the crowd and was very interactive. Thank goodness we had some bouncers though, everyone wanted to get close to her. Everyone went mad when they saw Mark Wright and the two of them stopped by Grants Bar for a drink afterwards.”
She added: “The floats were absolutely magnificent, I think it was the best procession we’ve had in recent years. It was very hard for the judges to decide on the winners.”
Organisers thanked carnival sponsors Millers UK and Rishton Waste Paper along with other sponsors, participating businesses and comperes Darrell Simmonds and Andrew and Ged Buckel. The floats and costumes were judged by Carnival Queen Kimberley Robinson, Carnival Princess Dolcie Power, Mayor Judith Addison and Mayoress Coun Kath Pratt, Accrington Lions president Jane Flegg and her partner Andrew Johnson.
Cato’s World won the best trade float, followed by Gaskell Motorbodies and First Class Childcare; best non trade float was won by Clayton-le-Moors Scout Group, with Sacred Heart RC Primary in second and Cambridge Street Methodist Church rainbows, brownies and guides in third; and the Motor Neurone Disease group was the best walking group ahead of Mount Carmel RC High School and the Carers’ Link.
Michelle Keegan crowned Jordan Mitchell, 18, as Mr Carnival. Alistair Fitzharris, 20, from Accrington who works as a hairdresser was second and former Mayor of Hyndburn Paul Barton, 39, complete with a novelty wig, came third.
Accrington Lions president Tony Clarkson said: “I’m really pleased with the amount of people who came along. All I can say is we’ve given the people of Hyndburn a carnival to remember once again.”
Accrington Stanley once again won the Carnival Cup beating Accrington Lions 6-5.