Fair Oak’s annual carnival procession took to the streets in the glorious late June sunshine last Saturday, 29th June.
The procession was very well supported by the local community and particularly by the local haulage firm AFS, who provided four vehicles for this event. Without the contribution from AFS, Fair Oaks carnival procession would have been very short.
Local PCSO’s were to be seen on bicycles, ahead of the parade and bringing up the rear, otherwise the event was very effectively marshalled by the organisers, Fair Oak Parish Council, and volunteer helpers.
Also supporting the event, was Eastleigh’s current Mayor, Cllr Malcolm Cross, whose presence was very well received by the crowds at Eastleigh News vantage point in Sandy Lane.
This year, Fair Oaks carnival co-incided with Armed Forces Day. Although there was not a direct link between two events, some of the carnival entries had a wartime theme, with some very effective Land Girl & Home Guard costumes to be seen.
In fact, from a distance, some of the members of ‘Duds Army’ bore a very striking resemblance to the heroes from the Walmington on Sea Platoon.
But with the threat of invasion from mainland Europe receding, the veterans of the Home Guard took time out to join the procession, wheeling their bicycles and even a wheelchair around the streets of Fair Oak.
More highlights of the procession, which lasted about 25 minutes, can be seen in this video clip, which is also available on YouTube.
Overall, Fair Oaks procession was somewhat reserved and static. It didn’t quite have the exuberance associated with carnival events in Rio or Notting Hill.
And with some entries playing to the crowds whilst others were marching ahead, the procession inevitably stretched out, with some onlookers experiencing some rather long waits between successive entries.
Nevertheless, the procession compared well to the hundreds of other carnivals that take place around middle-class England during the summer months and a good time was had by all.
Not just in the taking part, but in the many hours of preparation beforehand.
Well done Fair Oak.