Putting the finishing touches to Eastbourne’s Sunshine Carnival

Colourful revellers from a previous Sunshine Carnival

Colourful revellers from a previous Sunshine Carnival

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With just a week to go until the annual Eastbourne Sunshine Carnival, the finishing touches are being added to the seafront procession.

It takes place next Saturday (May 27) and hundreds of participants will set off from the Western Lawns at 2pm to walk along the seafront down to Princes Park.

It is the sixth year the carnival has been run since being revived after a break of several years.

This year’s theme is Our Community – Our World.

Patron and founder of the carnival Stephen Lloyd said, “This year’s carnival will be its biggest yet.

“With more than 60 floats, walking processions, musical bands and vintage vehicles taking part alongside 2,000 participants, we’ve put together a fantastic show for Eastbourne.

“As well as our earlier start we have also introduced this year a number of fixed entertainment spots which will be getting the crowd into the carnival-mood from 1pm.

“Please make a note for your diaries. These will be at the RNLI Museum turn-off, the Bandstand, the seaward end of Terminus Road, the pier, the corner by the Langham Hotel, slopes down from the Redoubt and near the Fishermen’s Club.

“All are fantastic acts, all there to entertain you, and I am thrilled to have them on board with us this year.”

For the first time this year the Towner Art Gallery is taking part in the procession.

Mr Lloyd said, “Another innovation for Carnival 2017 is that I’m pleased to welcome the Towner Art Gallery.

“The education out-reach programmes have been running a series of carnival-art workshops with schools across Eastbourne and beyond.

“Ten of them have entered as part of their unique walking procession. I’ve seen a sample of what the kids have designed and put together and it’s just brilliant, so do look out for them on the day. You can’t miss it – their section is 300 people strong.

“And please don’t forget to put as much money as you can in the collection buckets, folks. Half goes to all the charities taking part and the other half goes into our Carnival bank account for next year.

“This keeps our carnival growing and sustainable which was always my original plan.

“And on that note I’d like to thank the Arndale Centre for sponsoring us again this year, and all my carnival team of volunteers who give up so much time through the year to make it such a success.

“I really am terribly grateful and I know our town is as well.

“See you all there on the Saturday of the Bank Holiday weekend my friends.

“It’s going to be a great event for a great town.”

This year will be the first time the procession has not had a carnival court.

The competition – run by the Herald and supported by local businesses – to find a queen and princess had to be scrapped after complaints it was sexist.

For more information on the parade, activities on the day and road closures go to www.eastbournecarnival.co.uk