THOUSANDS of people are expected to line the streets of Stourport for the town’s 89th carnival.

The annual event will kick off with a land parade on Saturday when floats will set off from Areley Kings Recreation Ground at 12.30pm.

Walkers will be able to join the parade as the procession makes its way through the town to the riverside carnival field.

The parade will feature floats with carnival queen Mary Newman, princess Halle Griffiths and rosebud Darcie Holmes, local businesses and, for the first time, this year will see decorated golf buggies as well as go karts taking part.

Following the parade, the crowning of the carnival court will take place by the Mayor of Stourport Cliff Brewer on the bandstand at 3pm.

The queen will then take her place on the first of the riverboat parades from 4pm, which features a flypast by a local micro light club, before an illuminated evening parade between 8.30pm and 9.30pm, depending on the weather.

There will be entertainment, refreshments, rides and bouncy castles available throughout the day at the carnival field.

Events on the field include children’s entertainer Andy Magic, a falconry display, Zennors Dance and Musical Theatre Academy, appearances from Mickey and Minnie Mouse and performances from local folk band Dryftwood, as well as rock group Unknown First and Barefoot Serpents.

Entry to the carnival field, where a firework display will take place in the evening, is free and money will be raised for local charities from trade and charity stalls.

Organisers say there are more than £1,000 worth of prizes to be won on the day, including the £150 for best float, which will be judged by Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier.

Last year’s carnival saw more than £5,000 raised for the scanner appeal, local Scouts and Guides groups and York Street doctors. Organisers are hoping to raise even more this year.

Pete Roberts, carnival committee chairman, said: “It’s going to be a great day and we are all looking forward to it.

“I’ve been organising the carnival for the past 30 years now and our aim is to still make it bigger and better each year.

“Many of the other local town’s carnivals have died but we are doing our best to keep our traditions going.”

To enter a float, which costs £10, or for local groups and organisations to apply to receive a share of the money raised, call Pete Roberts on 01299 879340.