Express & Star

Thousands turn out for Pelsall Carnival as it marks 50th birthday

Pelsall Carnival celebrated its 50th anniversary this weekend with an early start, with volunteers meeting at 4am.

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The Pelsall Carnival procession

Bargain-hunters began arriving at 7.30am for a car boot sale on the carnival site at Pelsall Common.

Volunteers began preparing the carnival site ready for when doors opened at midday ready to host stalls, dog competitions, dance displays, gymnastic displays, a funfair, car boot sale and donkey rides. The carnival began in 1972 but due to Covid and new road closure legislation the organising committee decided to celebrate its half-century milestone this year.

Unlike the King's Coronation which had impractical golden coaches Pelsall Carnival had hard working tractors

Mirroring the pomp and circumstance of King Charles's coronation in May, Pelsall's Royal procession began in the early afternoon, including a colourful collection of floats, left Commonside and snaked its way through the village, cheered on by sodden townsfolk. Unlike the coronation which had impractical golden carriages the Pelsall Carnival procession had hard-working flatbed trucks and tractors.

Crowds braved the rain and the prospect of thunderstorms to cheer on the procession

There were marching bands, parading scouts, Mods on scooters and all kinds of colourful floats in the procession. West Midlands Fire Service and the Freewheelers Blood Donation Bikers were both at the carnival.

All Mod Cons. It was All or Nothing for some riders at Pelsall Carnival

Maid of honour Ashley-Eva Johnson, queen Laura Allwood, princesses Amelia Critchley and Antonia Watkins, rosebud Faye Dolan and pageboy Elijah Critchley were joined by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Aldridge Brownhills MP Wendy Morton.

Wendy Morton MP and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street at Pelsall carnival

Walsall company Hayward Transport, official carnival transport partner, supplied and lorries and organised the logistics needed to ensure the procession of floats was a sight to see.

The Pelsall Carnival procession

Managing director Sean Hayward said: “As a Walsall company, we know just how important events like the Pelsall Carnival are to our local community and businesses, so it’s a great privilege for us to offer our services for the procession and share our success with the community.

“Our reputation as the people’s haulier means a lot to us, so we strive to always live up to this, whether finding solutions for customer’s transportation problems, or finding ways to give back to the community around us."

Ryan Painter, aged 11, on the Lion King float from Ryders Hayes School

He added: "That the Pelsall Carnival is now celebrating its 50th anniversary says a lot about the community spirit of people in our town.”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Paul Hinton, Alex Linton, Everton Linton and Andy Gater from 3rd Pelsall Scouts
All the music of the carnival

Pelsall Village School were celebrating after winning first prize for their float which had been decked out to look like a field.

Tweeting about their achievement, they said: "We won!! Well done to everyone involved today. What an amazing day at the carnival."

Children from Pelsall Village School award winning float