Summer family fun at Bicester’s Mardi Gras-themed carnival

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BICESTER’S town carnival takes place on Sunday afternoon, and with this year’s theme of Mardi Gras/Carnival, it promises to be a very colourful affair.

BICESTER’S town carnival takes place on Sunday, July 10, and with this year’s theme of Mardi Gras/Carnival, it promises to be a very colourful affair.

An exciting array of stalls, floats and performances are in the line-up for the big annual event organised by the town council, which last year drew in 3,500 people and netted £1,500 for the mayor’s charities.

This year’s carnival will also celebrate Armed Forces Day, with the Bicester Garrison setting up a field kitchen as a refreshment tent.

They will also be bringing along a fabulous inflatable assault course, on which members of the public can have a go free of charge.

Fun on the day kicks off at noon with the carnival parade, which starts at the Cooper School and heads down Buckingham Road, Sheep Street, Market Square and through the Causeway, finishing at the Bicester Hospital Car Park.

After that, the focus moves to Oxford Road Sports Field, where Mayor of Bicester, Councillor Rose Stratford, will declare the carnival officially open, together with Garrison Commander Colonel Angus Mathie, at 1pm.

Col Mathie will also give an an address at 3pm.

A packed programme of displays starts in the arena immediately afterwards, with a birds of prey demonstration from Hawkeye.

For those who miss it, this will be repeated at 2.10pm.

Local dance clubs are showcased throughout the afternoon in a series of high-energy displays, starting at 1.25pm with Flare Dance, which specialises in freestyle contemporary dance and street or hip hop.

MSW Elite Dance will be giving a performance at 1.55pm, and at 3.25pm it’s the turn of Ellagance Dance Academy. FS Dance of Fringford will perform at 3.25pm

Oxford Sport & Traditional Martial Arts (OSTMA), led by karate 4th Dan Paul Wood, show their skills in the arena at 1.40pm.

And a breathtaking display from the Silver Stars parachute display team is promised at 2.35pm.

Local teams pit their strength in a tug of war at 3.25pm.

And Bicester youth rock band Bad Strategy will bring the event towards its 6pm close.

Other attractions include a petting zoo, a funfair with large and small rides for children of all ages, and Punch and Judy.

Entry is £2.50, under-16s and concessions free.