Thousands lined the streets of the town at the weekend on the hottest day of the year so far to watch the annual Tonbridge Carnival and Fete.
Organised by the Tonbridge Lions Club, Sunday’s [June 18] event saw more than 30 colourful floats, bands, majorettes, dancers, army vehicles, classic cars and walking groups embrace this year’s theme of ‘Famous Families’ under the glorious summer sun.
After the parade, the crowds made their way to Castle Lawn where the Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling Roger Dalton and the Mayoress Hazel Dalton handed out prizes alongside Lions’ President Bob Bartlett and his wife Jan.
There was entertainment aplenty for the rest of the afternoon as bands, singers and dancers all contributed to the vibrant atmosphere with crowds enjoying a variety of stalls and tombolas.
And for the younger visitors there was a dedicated ‘Kiddies Corner’, which featured a magician and a Punch and Judy.
The clear favourite on this scorching Father’s Day was the ‘Soak your Dad in the Stocks’ stall, allowing children to get their own back on their parents while providing their puffed-out patriarchs with some welcome relief from the 30C/86F heat.
It was the first major event in the town for the new Mayor Dalton, who took to his new role with aplomb. Coming from Burham, he had never attended the Carnival before but was immediately enamoured with the event.
“The whole thing was just outstanding in the way it was run. It was a fantastic day, some absolutely brilliant displays. I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it. The borough can be really proud of itself for what it has achieved. I look back over the last 40 odd years and think what a fool I’ve been for not coming sooner,” he said.
Walking through the High Street, the Mayor and Mayoress spoke with residents before making their way to Castle Lawn. They even took a turn in the wet-sponge stocks, which Mr Dalton described as ‘enormously refreshing’.
The total raised from donations and raffles has not yet been calculated, but it is estimated to be between £3-4,000. The money will go to the Lions who support a range of causes within the town.