It won’t rain on our parade

HUNDREDS of people lined the streets as the Hartlepool Carnival came a colourful close on Saturday.

fter a fortnight of fun and games on the historic Headland, residents from across the town came out in their droves to enjoy the festival finale on Saturday.

Bring on the clowns

Bring on the clowns

The Town Square was a hive of activity from 12pm, with various stalls and heritage exhibitions dotted around for people to enjoy.

The Hartlepool Hawks cheerleading group put on a super show, while dance troupes strutted their stuff to keep people entertained.

There was some serious sporting competition early on in the afternoon when cyclists competing in the Carnival Cycle Road Race, which was raced under the banner of the North East Regional Criterium Championships.

The main event saw the parade set off from the bottom of Northgate at around 4.15pm, with people lining the route along Northgate and then Durham Street to see the tradition which is now in its 90th year.

The parade started with a team of scooters, followed by the Carnival Princess in an open-top car then dozens of dancers and film characters on floats, fancy dress participants including Lego Men, TV stars and cartoon characters.

There was also a fleet of vintage cars, jazz bands and the Hawks taking an another opportunity to show off their routines.

Thankfully despite a few grey clouds hovering overhead, the rain stayed off to allow people to enjoy the festivities.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case on Sunday when the heavens opened and forced the Headland Raft Race to be postponed, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the organisers who described their fortnight as one of the best in recent times.

A spokesman said: “It was a shame about the raft race, but apart from that everything has been fantastic over the last fortnight.

“People have enjoyed the rides up on the moor, and for the traditional events we have had on the Headland, they have all been very well supported.

“The sandcastle competition and the treasure hunt were great for the youngsters and their families, and the talent show was also very well supported.

“The Parade on Saturday was fantastic, and it was great to see so many people lining the streets to see it going along.

“This was our 90th year and we wanted to make a success of it, and I think all in all things have gone very well.

“It’s bene the best one in recent years, and we’re very grateful to everyone who has helped to organise the events and also to the people from across Hartlepool who have been along to support them.

“The feedback has been excellent, and now it’s all over we can start planning for next year!”