SLIDESHOW: Pop royalty descended on Calder Valley for Todmorden Carnival

Todmorden Carnival Parade
Todmorden Carnival Parade

From Madonna to Michael Jackson, a steady flow of pop stars paraded through the streets of Todmorden to celebrate Carnival Day last Saturday.

Top of the hit parade were Todmorden C of E School’s Village People, who won first prize in the foot tableaux section, while Grace Anna Wilkinson, as Britney Spears, was placed first in the individual fancy dress section.

Hard on the winners’ heels in the foot tableaux section were Pharrell and his Ferney Lee Minions, BATS Community Playgroup who featured members of the Jam and the Clash in their ranks, Todmorden Country Fair including Madonna in a supporting act for this coming Saturday’s big event, Bridge End, Todmorden Market and animal welfare society PAWS, who boasted a Boy George in their culture club.

On field entertainment included hilarious, nimble and talented star attraction Bruce Airhead, who disappeared into his giant baloon creations in his leotard and re-emerged in costume as Elvis Presley and Superman, while dance routines included the DC Dance and Higher Clayton troupes.

Todmorden Community Brass Band led off a parade which also included a latin beat from Honley Samba Band, and visitors were welcomed to the Centre Vale Park, Burnley Road, carnival field by Carnival Queen Charlotte Thistleton who was accompanied on her big day by Carnival Princess Lucy Thistleton.

The tug-of-war saw PCSOs from the town’s policing team win the final heave against a team of Carnival volunteers and they donated to charity, including West Yorkshire Air Ambulance, from their winnings.

Todmorden Charity Carnival Chairman, Philip Clarke, thanked Todmorden Town Council for its support for the event and said Carnival Day had gone very well but encouraged more people to volunteer for the committee and help organise the popular annual day out, which had been well supported by the public.

“Pre-day ticket sales were very good and we have made about the amount we would normally make. But we do need more volunteers to help our organising committee which has been getting smaller - we would welcome some new blood and new ideas,” he said.

The fairground, which ran throughout Bank Holiday weekend, did some brisk business.

Mayor of Todmorden Coun Christine Potter said she had a marvellous time on a day when thunderstorms threatened but save for five minutes of hailstones failed to materialise and spoil Todmorden’s big day, letting the carnival pop stars shine.

If you would like to help organise next year’s event, Mr Clarke can be contacted on 07778 614128 and details can also be obtained by emailing or via contacting website and the Todmorden Carnival Facebook page.