JESTERS, jugglers and jazz musicians flocked to the streets of a West Oxfordshire town on Saturday as a popular carnival celebrated the end of an era.

Woodstock Charity Carnival has been held annually for almost 40 years but organisers are planning to give the festivities a revamp before next year’s edition.

The afternoon’s entertainment followed a traditional pattern, with stalls, displays and activities preceding the grand parade at 5pm.

But despite 1,500 people turning up to take part, carnival committee chairman Nick Tonks revealed it would be all-change for next year’s event.

He said: “This is the last year we’re running the carnival in this format.

“The committee is going to have a good long think about what we want next year.

“This will be people’s last opportunity to take part.”

While he would not be drawn on specifics, Mr Tonks said the change in format was ‘necessary’ for the carnival going forward.

As is tradition, this year’s carnival was organised entirely by volunteers and funded by more than 20 local businesses and organisations.

Restaurants in the town served a range of street food, while street performers, a jazz band and local artists entertained the crowds.

Talented singer-songwriter Jasmine Flowers, a sixth form student at The Marlborough School, Woodstock, performed in the town square.

The carnival also held a fun dog show for the first time, with categories including cutest dog and waggiest tail up for grabs.

Revellers were invited to dress up in circus-themed costumes as proceedings ended with the grand parade which snaked through the town centre.

Prizes were given to the most impressive outfits as children and their parents looked the part as jesters and jugglers.

Entertainment went long into the evening as live bands played at venues across the town.

Residents enthusiastically joined in with the celebrations as Mr Tonks paid tribute to an event he hailed as the centrepiece of the town’s summer calendar.

He said: “It’s been the cornerstone of Woodstock life.

“There are people in their 80s who can remember taking part with their children, and those children are now taking their own children along.

“Some people who have left the town even come back for it.

“It’s always really popular in the town and it’s a great day for the community to come together and everyone in Woodstock for generations has always looked forward to it.

“The day was a huge success, it was great weather and an even better atmosphere.”