ORGANISERS said as many as 10,000 people joined in the fun at the annual Pontypool Carnival over the weekend.
A parade of around 500 people, featuring Brazilian music with a World Cup Mardi Gras theme, made its way through the town’s streets on Saturday before finishing at Pontypool Park, where more entertainment awaited.
Live music took place on a stage in the park, which is located right next to the town’s rugby club and leisure centre, as well as a fun fair and up to 70 stalls varying from Guide Dogs representatives to food and drink providers.
Among the main attractions at this year’s event, which was blessed with warm weather, was a professional mountain bike stunt and trials display team, who claim to be the world’s “first and best”.
Scott Wilson, 24, gave a rousing demonstration to a gathered audience at Pontypool Park, representing MAD – an acronym for Mountain Bike Aerial Display Team.
He said: “I’ve been doing this for 18 years. We’ve been to so many places – we went to the Bahrain [Formula One] Grand Prix a few years ago, which was brilliant. But it’s always nice to do carnivals and get out into the community to see people first hand.”
Other attractions included Miss Torfaen 2014 Molly Webb, the Monmouthshire Auxiliary Fire Service team, go karts and a climbing wall.
Dean Friars, 29, was at the event with his partner, 26-year-old Cheryl Edwards, and their three-year-old son Owen.
Mr Friars, from Abersychan, said: “It’s getting bigger every year and it’s a great way to see all the people you know and have a catch up. There’s enough on to make you stay right until the end.”
Kieran Reid, 19, and his friends were not intent on attending the carnival but changed their minds after the parade passed through the town.
He said: “We just thought ‘why not?’. There’s loads of people of all ages here and it’s a good atmosphere with plenty to do.”
Verity Hiscocks, Arts Development manager at Torfaen council, said this year had been a great success, surpassing last year’s efforts.
Ms Hiscocks, one of the main organisers, said: “We’ve never had a problem pulling in the crowds because it’s something that’s been going on for more than 80 years.
“There is more variety this year, but last year we struggled a bit with the weather. We’ve always had a traditional attraction but this year we went with sporty because of the popularity of the Wold Cup in Brazil – that’s why we got the bikers in, because we couldn’t really have a football display on.”