Thousands greet Newport's Pill Carnival
4:30pm Monday 26th August 2013 in News
THOUSANDS of people lined the streets of Newport in the glorious sunshine to watch this year’s Pill Carnival.
Event organisers said around 5,000 came out to see the Carnival procession with more than 2,000 expected at the Carnival field next to the Pill Millennium Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Revellers were greeted with a Santa on a float, a Santa on a motorbike, a war train, ponies, live music from Newport City Church, military vehicles and a tractor, to name a few attractions.
The procession was led through Pill by a marching band which was followed by the float of the Carnival court with Carnival Queen Abbi Wysome, 15.
The prize for best float went to regulars from the Royal Oak pub, Pill, and their families, who built a float around the theme of the Elvis Presley film Blue Hawaii.
Pub landlady Helen Robertson said the weather was a big improvement on the year before: “We were soaking wet!”
Second prize went to the Royal British Legion Newport branch whose float featured a mocked-up war train.
Daren Howen, vice-chairman of the branch, said it was the first time the Legion had taken part in the event for around three years.
“The last one we had a spitfire made out of cardboard,” he said. “It flew – my mate was driving and we were hanging on to the plane to stop it flying into the air!”
A lively float made up of people from the Duffryn estate dressed in Christmas-themed costume came third for best float.
Margaret Roberts, 66, from Duffryn, said their group was new to the event: “We did it in six days! It’s Santa’s workforce. We had to beg and borrow to get the Santa costumes!”
Meanwhile a group of walkers from the Newport Pantomime and Musical Society dressed as characters from Aladdin won the prize for the best walking group – promoting a panto the society will be performing next February.
Second prizes for walkers went to Caitlin Brockway, 12, from Newport ,who is a young ambassador for the Bullies Out charity.
Out on the field by the Millennium Centre children enjoyed the funfair while a variety of culinary delights from all over the world were on offer, as well as music on the carnival's stage.
Ali Boksh, chairman of the Pill Carnival committee who also filled in as a DJ on the day, gave credit to the volunteers who helped make the event happen: “We’ve had about 5,000 people watching the profession and we are expecting about at any one time 2,000 on the field.
“It’s brilliant – this is one of the best carnivals we’ve had for the last few years.”