The dragon roars in to Todmorden

Todmorden Carnival. Holly Fowler and Rosie Halstead, both aged eight, from Shade Primary School.
Todmorden Carnival. Holly Fowler and Rosie Halstead, both aged eight, from Shade Primary School.

DRAGONS, geisha girls and karate-kickers were all part of the festivities at Todmorden Carnival.

Around 1,200 people turned out to the Oriental-themed event, many in fancy dress.

The fun started as usual with a colourful parade. The floats were missing after being dropped amid concerns for health and safety and insurance costs.

Their absence was made up for by the colourful foot tableaux, including displays from two of the town’s primary schools.

Pupils from Shade Primary School won first prize for theirs and children at Ferney Lee Primary School, came third.

Second prize was awarded to Todmorden Karate Club.

The parade wound its way around the town before making its way to Centre Vale Park, where the rest of the festivities kicked off.

The carnival was officially opened by the Mayor of Todmorden, Richard White, and the Carnival Queen of Great Britain, Chealsie Kay, lent a regal touch to the event.

Crowds were then treated to displays from motorbike display team Inch Perfect, plus a range of stalls and rides.

Phillip Clarke, chairman of the carnival committee, said it had been a good day, despite blustery weather.

“Overall it was a great success on last year,” he said.

“It was windy, but the wind kept the rain off.”

But he said he had been disappointed by the lack of participation from the town’s pubs and schools.

“There were only two schools that entered the parade, and none of the pubs did,” he said.

Organisers thanked the police, Todmorden Lions, and residents living around Cambridge Street and Sanworth Street, where the parade started from, for their support.

Preparations are now under way for next year’s carnival, which will be Olympic-themed to celebrate the London Games.

The committee is keen to recruit new members. Anyone interested in joining can call Mr Clarke on 07778 614128 or email