WITNEY was filled with the carnival spirit once again as the crowds enjoyed the town’s annual parade and entertainment.

The Witney Carnival on Saturday is thought to have attracted more than 9,000 people, with organisers hoping to have matched the £14,000 raised last year.

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Snow White in the fairy-tale parade

The event at the Leys Recreation Ground was kicked off by a fairy-tale themed costume float parade through the town centre.

More than 30 walking and driving floats took part before entertainment – including circus workshops, fairground rides, belly dancing, a Punch and Judy show, and a tug of war – began.

Paul Thomas, deputy head at Witney Community Primary School, said more than 20 pupils took represented the school on its Pied Piper float.

The 46-year-old said the carnival was a great community event, adding: “Every community needs a focus point. A carnival is a great way to bring the community together. It was lovely to see all the support around the parade route too.

“It was a brilliant success this year.”

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Town mayor Cllr Jeanette Baker rides on the back of a tandem

Town councillor Chrissie Curry said the event was the biggest and best yet. She said: “What a terrific parade and congratulations to all those taking part.”

The carnival, which is supported by the Oxford Mail’s sister paper the Witney Gazette, is run by the Rotary Club, The Lions Club of Witney, Witney Round Table and the Witney Air Cadets.

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Six-year-old Verity Woodward enjoys a bounce on an inflatable

Money raised each year goes to causes including local youth charity Base 33 and Charlbury-based Special Effect, which helps disabled children through video games.

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Ron Spurs

Ron Spurs, Rotary Club chairman, said: “The carnival is a family event and it’s a free event. A family can come along with their own picnic, they don’t have to spend a penny, and watch the attractions and soak up the atmosphere.”