VIDEO: Morecambe Carnival numbers top 37,000

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Morecambe Carnival organisers will have their first meeting to plan the 2016 event in a few days time.

And top of the agenda will be working out how to top this year’s carnival, which pulled tens of thousands of people onto the prom over two days.

Morecambe Carnival crowd on Sunday. Photo by Al Robbins.

Morecambe Carnival crowd on Sunday. Photo by Al Robbins.

Chief organiser David Brayshaw estimated the weekend crowds topped last year’s numbers, when 37,000 came to the first town carnival in years.

Shops, pubs and restaurants did a roaring trade, especially on Sunday when the weather stayed dry for a parade of floats, a pop music concert and a fireworks finale.

Hotel rooms were booked out weeks in advance as people travelled to Morecambe from far and wide.

Mr Brayshaw said the carnival cost just over £45,000, which had all been raised privately by the carnival committee run by volunteers.

“We’re very very happy,” he said.

“I was a bit worried on Sunday morning with the rain but it turned out well.

“There are things that worked and things we could have done better . We want to bring the aeroplanes back and continue the fireworks.

“Somebody said to me this is now more than a carnival, it’s a festival, and he’s right. We need to up our game and become even more professional.”

Visitor readers have praised the event.

Urshie Muller said: “We enjoyed the parade and the atmosphere was great, nice to see so many turned out.”

Carol Ann Connell said: “All was great. We need more events like this throughout the year, so many people having a good time.”

And 13-year-old Micky Balshaw, who was with the Heysham High School float, said simply: “It was awesome!”

Arguably the biggest draw was the Sunday afternoon concert on The Bay radio stage, hosted by DJs Danny Matthews and Darren Milby.

Six fans from Northumberland were first in the queue for a front row spot in the Bay Arena at 7.30am on Sunday, despite pouring rain.

By 2.30pm the Arena was packed as local acts performed including Stuart Michaels, Molly Warburton, Ashleigh Wood, Fuse, Ben Simpson and Amy Jo Clough.

Later, stars such as Black Lace, Lancaster singer Paul Akister, The Voice winner Jermain Jackman, X Factor runner-up Nicky McDonald, 12-year-old Britain’s Got Talent sensation Henry Gallagher, pop band Stereo Kicks, and headliners Shayne Ward and 911 continued the live music well into the night.

Earlier, the new Carnival King and Queen, seven-year-old Declan Alexander and Lucy Hood, eight, were crowned.

There was also the traditional parade of floats along the prom.

Rain on Saturday caused cancellation of a planned RAF Hurricane and Spitfire aerial display, and a dressage performance of ‘dancing horses’ on the beach.

But the Dakota plane flew over the bay as scheduled and the It’s A Knockout competition in the Bay Arena and sandcastle building contest run by More Music still went ahead.

It’s A Knockout was won by Lancaster University Sports Centre, with the Lord Nelson pub and Tracey Austin Dancers runners-up.

A fun fair and stalls also proved popular as Morecambe seafront was much busier than most Saturdays, despite the drizzle.

For our four-page carnival photo special and more reports, see The Visitor this week.