July and August are the carnival months in Cornwall. This is a local tradition taken very seriously as each village and town hosts its own carnival, the floats often tour several carnivals as there is one a week working across North Cornwall. We have joined in our local village and neighbouring village Carnival for almost all the 13 years we have lived here and every year excitement builds as we engage in dinner table discussions over our theme. My teens have sadly lost interest in dressing up and participating but the triplets were as keen as ever to enter again this year so we decided to let them take the lead. Star Wars was the outright winner and the kids wasted no time in painting and designing scraps of card down in Nick’s shed in the evenings after school with their friend.
In previous years we have lent a significant helping hand as Nick is a bit of a DIY expert and always has a few clever touches, however this year we were flummoxed as neither of us knew the first thing about Star Wars. Just days before when the kids had used up pots of paint, ruined a few sets of school uniform and left chaos around the shed we could finally see where they were heading. Then we had the difficult decision, did we take over and redo their work on proper wooden boards and try to enhance their effort with clearer sign writing or leave it as it was after the time they had invested?
In the end they agreed that we would work together to convert their idea onto durable wooden panels, not least because the mile journey to the village, especially if it was a windy or wet evening could leave us bereft of float trimmings by the time we arrived!
With an intensive 2 days of work we were ready to go, the weather was being kind too with a beautiful balmy summer evening. We explained to the newly arrived guests that we would be out for the evening as they questioned our outfits and float in the car park, and suggested they come along and join the fun since the procession meandered from the village green right past the top of our lane and onto the football ground.
Colourful bunting adorned the village together with the traditional scarecrows this year themed around The Mr Men.
Judging and registration takes place early on up at the village green and the children duly obliged with a lightsaber war for the benefit judges and press.
The pipe band striking up is the signal that the procession is about to begin. They are followed by the village Carnival Queen float, the walking floats and then the tractors, cars and trailers. Villagers line the streets cheering each passing float and our kids could be seen dancing around throwing sweets from the trailer to the children along the roadside and lapping up the attention in return.
Up at the football ground the marquee is full of trophies for prize giving, food tents and a licensed bar. Children’s entertainment is laid on and a real carnival feel takes over as costumes are abandoned and play begins.
The triplets were thrilled with our 2nd place trophy cheering all the way back to Coombe Mill.
Events like this are great for uniting a community and I’m thrilled to be a part of our village, even if we are in reality a mile outside in our own private valley.
Joining in with Country Kids
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“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.