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Thousands enjoy carnival atmosphere across Black Country

Dudley | | Published:

Carnival celebrations were the order of the day in parts of the Black Country as thousands turned out to join in a weekend of fun in the sun.

And the weekend of entertainment also hit the high notes - as RAF Cosford staged a big band concert to mark D-Day.

Thousands of families flocked to the Willenhall Memorial Park for the town's popular annual festival.

Organiser Sharon Green said: "The weather was brilliant.

"We were in need of good weather after the last few years. We had a bigger turn out compared to last year. We had about 2,500 people through the gates - up 800 or so on last year.

"Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The park was full all day. People came and stayed all day."

Attractions on the day included live music, a dog show and children's fairground rides. There was also a display of birds of prey.

The Wordsley Festival is a popular event in the village near Stourbridge, and has been since 1964.

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Back then, a carnival procession would parade around the town, but the event has been scaled back in recent years.

However that didn't stop thousands of people turning out in the warm early afternoon sun to enjoy the activities on offer.

The King George VI Park was packed with families and groups of young children, all getting involved in the fairground rides, stalls and competitions.

Organiser Mick Davies, who helps organise the festival, said: "We are pleased with the response we have had this year from the local people.

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"What we have done this year is we have tried to publicise it a lot more than we would normally and I think that has paid off.

"It is still good value for money when you look at all the events, singers and stalls we have. For a couple of quid for an adult it still represents value for money."

Mr Davies said the feedback he had received from people attending the festival was good, but added that it had shrunk in size compared to when it was a carnival.

He said: "I would love for there to be a procession again, even if it is just children in fancy dress from the local schools."

The idea was one that was welcomed by the families who attended the festival.

Jane Smith, who is from Wordsley, said it was an important part of the community.

She said: "It would be brilliant to bring the carnival back. I come here every year with my children and it's always a good day."

Huge crowds gathered at Kinver Country Fair yesterday which has been held in the village for more than three decades.

This year's event was based around the theme of This Island Race and looked at some of Britain's earliest visitors including the Vikings.

There was plenty to keep youngsters entertained including donkey rides, puppet shows, a circus workshop, football and rugby challenges, facepainting, a climbing wall and bouncy castles.

It was all hands on deck at the Stourport Pirate Day this weekend as crowds of children and their parents came on board to join in the fun.

The annual event held at Stourport Canal Basin saw part of the canalside turned into a pirate camp complete with canons and treasure chests for people to explore. Around 50 people dressed as swashbucklers took part in the pirate town trail.

The D-Day commemorative events continued at RAF Cosford Museum this weekend, with a special big band concert.

Glebe Symphonic Winds, who are based in Staffordshire, played a mixture of wartime songs, big band classics and jazz before finishing with a rousing rendition of the national anthem.

Arthur Lee, 82, from Sedgley, attended the concert with his wife, Margaret and his daughter Diane as a Father's Day present.

Mr Lee said: "We go to concerts such as this about once a month, but these were absolutely brilliant. They did a lot of different songs and I really enjoyed it."

Danny Moore, 58, from Stourbridge, attended with the Brierly Hill arm of The 41 Club, a social club for former Round Table members.

He said: "The selection of music they played was really good, starting from the 1940s to the tunes from films and things like that.

Steven Greenall, conductor of the band, said: "This was our tribute to D-Day, so we started off with some songs from Saving Private Ryan and the RAF March Past, and then also some Glen Miller."

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