THOUSANDS of residents across the borough welcomed in the festive season at Wokingham Winter Carnival last Sunday.
The streets of Wokingham town centre were packed with stallholders, live music and of course, mince pies.
Stallholders offered a range of handmade goods for residents to browse and buy, with charities rallying for support and spare change.
And there was a host of entertainment too: a covered stage in Market Place saw performances throughout the day by members of Berkshire Maestros and the Royal Castle Jazz Band.
Morris dancing sides Borderline, Taeppas Tump, Fools Gambit, OBJ, Customs and Exiles and Berkshire Bedlam took to the streets, including Peach Place, to entertain crowds.
Also appearing in Peach Place, which was being used for the first time, were the Reading Scottish Pipe Band, No Strings Attached ukulele band and a fun session with Professor Crump.
In Wokingham Library, there were workshops for children and Santa was in residence in his grotto.
And if that wasn’t enough, members of Circus Scene juggled, unicycled and giggled their way through the crowds.
The evening saw the welcome return of the annual carnival procession, which left Shute End and weaved its way through the streets of the town centre.
Entrants included the cast of the Wokingham Pantomime Cinderella, characters from the Star Wars movies, local town councillors, tractors and Trigger The Train, which carried the families of winners of a contest to design a poster for the cover of the carnival programme.
Town Mayor Cllr Lynn Forbes gave a short speech ahead of the carol concert that brought the successful day to a close.
“I’d like to thank all the amazing float builders, organisers and groups for such an outstanding effort,” she said. “Thank you to the stallholders, and all that are here today, well done, a marvellous turn out – such an immense effort – thank you.
“We also have amazing charity stalls, all need your support today, and through the coming year, remember, we all need each other.
“My final thanks go to the Wokingham carnival team that put together today’s great parade and the whole event, amazing work – thank you.”
Ahead of the carol singing, the Revd Hannah Higginson led prayers. Afterwards, the mini mayor, Stanley Shambrook, pushed the button to turn on the Christmas lights.
SEE MORE: Four pages of great pictures in the current issue of The Wokingham Paper – don’t miss your copy!
Wokingham Winter Carnival chairman Philip Mirfin has written a letter, on page 26, thanking people for coming.
“The events were l have been told a tremendous success,” he said. “Our 2020 Winter carnival will take place on Sunday, November 29 and we look forward to welcoming all to what promises to be a bigger and better event once again.”
And he also wants more people to come forward to volunteer on the committee.
“If anyone is interested in helping to plan for next years event, please contact me at the following email address to let me know what skills you can offer us: email@example.com”