Community unites in colourful procession for annual Horley Carnival

Horley Carnival 2016. Manorfield School came first in the carnival float competition - picture courtesy of Horley Town Council
Horley Carnival 2016. Manorfield School came first in the carnival float competition - picture courtesy of Horley Town Council

The Horley Carnival kicked off on Saturday with the biggest procession the town has seen in recent years with schools, businesses and community groups taking part.

People lined the route through Horley on Saturday (June 18) to see the floats in the parade themed ‘Through the Ages and Beyond’.

Horley Carnival 2016 - Langshott Primary School came second in the floats competition - picture courtesy of Horley Town Council

Horley Carnival 2016 - Langshott Primary School came second in the floats competition - picture courtesy of Horley Town Council

There were five schools taking part this year along with groups including the Gatwick Caledonian Pipe Band, Keep Horley Green and the Archway Theatre.

They all made their way to the recreation ground in Brighton Road where a fun fair, street entertainers and more than 50 stalls were among the attractions.

Horley Carnival committee member Carol Fenton said: “We had 15 to 20 floats including five schools and we had quite a lot of adult floats as well.

“What we did for the first time this year was have a couple of bands playing en-route and then they joined in the procession as they went past. That worked really well.

Horley Carnival. Pic Steve Robards  SR1617743 SUS-160620-130130001

Horley Carnival. Pic Steve Robards SR1617743 SUS-160620-130130001

“Once the procession had gone past, the crowd going in to the gates was amazing.”

It was a tough decision for Reigate and Banstead Borough Mayor, Cllr David Powell, mayor’s consort Caroline Durance and Horley Town Mayor Cllr Mike George when it came to judging who should get the top three prizes in the procession competition.

The winners for the best floats in the junior section were Manorfield Primary School in first place, Langshott Primary in second and Oakwood School took third place.

Meath Green Infants School won the prize for Best Dressed Float.

Horley Carnival 2016 - Oakwood School took third place in the junior section float competition - picture courtesy of Horley Town Council

Horley Carnival 2016 - Oakwood School took third place in the junior section float competition - picture courtesy of Horley Town Council

In the senior section, The Bull Pub came first, Ashcroft Care was second and with a Doctor Who themed float, The Archway Theatre took the third place. The Bull Pub also won the prize with the Most Amusing Float.

Among those performing in the arena during the day were the Lavender Hill Band, the St Bartholomew’s Church Puppetkru, Bezerkas Circus, Jo Jingles, the Surrey & Sussex Drum and Bugle Corps, Fuzion Martial Arts, Bloco do Sul and Oakwood School Steel Band.

The carnival relies on the sponsorship and support of the community and businesses to be a success.

This year’s sponsors included Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Horley Town Council, Gatwick Airport, Britaniacrest, MAD Ideas and Susy Radio.

Committee member Carol Fenton from said: “Gatwick Airport was our main sponsor this year, giving us £3,000 and some of the borough councillors also donated. We (Horley Town Council) provide the park, but it’s the local organisations - like the 41 Club, The Horley Lions, the Rotary Club, the Brownies, Guides - who make it happen.

“The take up for stalls was great. We had over 50 stalls and we were having to turn people away.”

The committee has already put Saturday June 17 in the diary for next year’s carnival.