Stamford Festival’s Parade of Floats prove as popular and colourful as ever

Stamford Festival Parade of Floats 2016 EMN-160207-153258001

Stamford Festival Parade of Floats 2016 EMN-160207-153258001

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Crowds of people lined the streets of Stamford this afternoon (Saturday, July 2) for the popular Parade of Floats.

The parade, organised by Stamford and District Kiwanis, is a highlight of the Stamford Festival calendar, which is marking its 36th event this year.

Stamford Festival Parade of Floats 2016 EMN-160207-153243001

Stamford Festival Parade of Floats 2016 EMN-160207-153243001

The parade set off a little later than usual to allow for a wedding at All Saints’ Church. Led ably by Stamford Brass Band, the parade made its way from the Recreation Ground to Scotgate, up Broad Street, down Star Lane and down the High Street, before moving back to the Rec.

Judges, including president of the Kiwanis Steve Marsh and Mayor of Stamford John Dawson, watched from the vantage point on the balcony at Browne’s Hospital. Host for the event Rob Persani, from Rutland Radio, also gave his take on proceedings.

Along the route, hundreds of spectators, many of them watching their young relatives, clapped and cheered and waved their balloons, creating a colourful scene.

There were 15 floats this year - most on foot and four on a CS Ellis flatbed truck - and many of the participants had embraced the cartoon character theme. This is slightly down on previous year’s but it didn’t seem to have any impact on the event.

The event is one of the Kiwanis’ main fundraising events of the year and volunteers were out in force with their collection buckets. But the emphasis is in putting an event on that the whole community can enjoy and president Steve Marsh believes that’s exactly what they did.

He said: “It was a good turnout and I’m pleased with how today has gone. We had a couple of showers early on but the sun shone and it was always going to be a nice day, whatever the weather. It’s a real community event.”

Steve was particularly impressed with the Stamford Pantomime Players float, which combined their upcoming production of Dracula Spectacula with the cartoon character theme and the Jellyhead Collective float.

But he said it was for all judges to have their say on prizes.

After the parade had passed, visitors made their way to the Rec where there was a host of entertaainment to enjoy including performances from the Welland School of Dancing, JHH Dance and Starlight.

There was also a range of stalls, offering something for all the family.

The Parade of Floats follows on from last weekend’s Lions family fun day. Read how that went by clicking here

Stamford Festival director Carol Harkness said she was pleased overall with how the festival has gone.