ROYAL Wootton Bassett is gearing up for carnival day on Saturday with teams around the town vying to win the float competition.

Each year hundreds of people turn out to view the procession through the town, which starts at 4.30pm in Marlowe Way and travels down Stoneover Lane and Noremarsh Road, up Station Road and down the High Street, all at the speed of the slowest walker.

It will finally pitch up at around 6pm in Lime Kiln, where it will join the George Scarrott & Sons fun fair.

This year is the 41st year that the carnival has been held, and Gillian Hughes, chairman of the carnival committee, says it will be as much fun as ever.

She said: “I always look forward to it because it is such a good day. I joined the committee a few years ago because I wanted to keep it going, because it was at risk of stopping.

“I love carnival – it’s a great community event.”

From noon around the town there will be all sorts of entertainment including live bands, and the procession itself will see an array of different floats from the Brownies, the Scouts, the Guides, the Beavers and the Rainbows as well as local pubs, groups, and voluntary organisations.

Gillian said: “The Five Bells’ float has a reputation for being a good one and I have had it on good authority that it will be just as good this year.”

There will also be an appearance from the Bournemouth Carnival Band, who will be all be dressed up as Batman, and the Devizes majorette troupe the Major-wrecks.

This year, the carnival’s main sponsor is Awdry, Bailey & Douglas solicitors, a Wiltshire-based firm with offices in Wootton Bassett.

Gillian said: “Our sponsors are absolutely vital to the carnival.

“It costs over £4,000 to cover the carnival’s expenses, paying for road closures, legal and insurance costs and the professional acts in the procession.

“Without the generous support of our highly valued local business sponsors, it just wouldn’t happen. The carnival brings out the very best in our great Wootton Bassett community, where everyone pulls together to put on this popular event.”

At the end of the procession floats can be eligible to win £100 in one of seven categories.

For more information about the carnival or to find out how you can get involved, visit