It’s carnival time

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THOUSANDS of people are expected to turn out for a popular carnival this weekend which features strongmen, talented dogs and prize produce.

Billingham Carnival and Garden Show, which celebrates its 20th anniversary, takes place on Saturday and Sunday.

The popular event, which attracts up to 20,000 people, includes Great Britain’s Strongest Man competition.

Muscle men from all over the country will compete in the contest which will see them test their strength in a series of events.

Organisers promise there will be something for everyone and are looking forward to another successful event.

Carnival chairman Roger Black said: “This year is our 20th so it’s special.

“Every year we get between 15,000 and 20,000 people over the weekend.

“There is something for everybody.

“If it wasn’t for the support from local companies and industries including Billingham Town Council, Tees Valley Community Trust and Stockton Borough Council it wouldn’t happen.”

The carnival, which takes place on The Green off Station Road, Billingham, includes an open flower and vegetable show which organisers say is one of the biggest in the region.

Judging will take place on Saturday morning and all entries must be in by 10am and they will be on show all weekend.

Children and young people will play a large part in the carnival with 14 local schools showing off their garden produce with help from the Billingham Environmental Link Project.

Billingham Town Council is sponsoring a kids’ corner which will feature music and singing displays by local schools.

Dog owners can enter their pooches in a popular dog show which takes place at 9am on Sunday morning.

Britain’s strongmen will compete at 2pm on Sunday.

All kinds of arts and crafts will also be on show all weekend in St Cuthbert’s Church Hall.

Fairground rides and numerous stalls complete the line-up of attractions.

Senior citizens will also be well catered for with a free cafe.

The carnival is open between 10am-6.30pm on Saturday and 9pm-5pm on Sunday.