Saturday, 19 September 2020.

Counting down to village carnival

11 September, 2019

There are only a few days to go until Aylesham’s carnival and fete on Saturday 21 September – so there is still time for you to put on fancy dress and join in the village’s colourful parade.

The fete, held on the green at Market Place, proves an ideal curtain raiser to an afternoon and evening of fun and celebration. The fete will be officially opened by Miss Aylesham Charlotte O’Sullivan at 12.30pm accompanied by her entourage.

The carnival association committee has been working long and hard to bring everything together for the big day and has a wide variety of sideshows and stalls planned for the fete. The carnival will assemble in Boulevard Courrieres later in the afternoon before setting out on its route around Aylesham at 5pm.

Organisation of the fete and carnival takes several months along with the court attending other events across the south east throughout the spring and summer – it’s customary for courts to take part in each other’s carnivals which helps ensure parades are well supported. For the girls, their term as part of the court means a great deal and for Charlotte, 16, it’s no different.

She said: “It has been an amazing experience representing Aylesham. There’s always one day you look forward to most of all and that’s your own carnival!

“I am extremely excited to be opening the fete and kicking off the day for the village – it is a huge privilege. We are all looking forward to showing off our curtsey, which we have worked very hard upon and to welcoming the visiting courts to Aylesham.

“There will be plenty of amazing stalls this year for you to browse with many local businesses taking part. The parade begins at 5pm with loads of colourful floats and pedestrians. Make sure you don’t miss it!

“The court has travelled far and wide this year since selection in February and I wouldn’t change a single moment that I’ve spent as Miss Aylesham. When first joining I was quite a shy and quiet girl but this experience has helped me build confidence in myself. I’ve made many new friends, who are all amazing and I’m so glad to have met them.

“It is a great opportunity for any girl in the village to be a part of and a fun way to spend the weekends and summer holidays.”

Committee member Shane Scott is one of the team which ensures the carnival can make its way without a hitch – and without causing traffic problems.

He said: “We hope we won’t disturb the village too much but between 2pm and 5pm Vale View, with the junction of Attlee Avenue and all of Boulevard Courrieres, will be closed to all traffic. This means some disruption to Stagecoach buses but there will be notices at the bus stops setting out the changes.”

The carnival will follow its traditional route of Market Square – Dorman Avenue North – Cornwallis Avenue – Kings Road – Queens Road – Ackholt Road – Clarendon Road – Dorman Avenue South before finishing on the green in Spinney Lane.

“A lot of time has been put in behind the scenes to ensure this year’s event causes less disruption than before. As always we thank everyone on the committee, its supporters, our sponsors and the fantastic court of young ladies for all they have given this year and hope you enjoy the day as much as we do.”