IT WOULD have come as no great surprise if Morecambe & Wise had suddenly appeared in Saturday’s Spalding Flower Parade, doing their signature skip-dance to the strains of Bring Me Sunshine.
After days of, at times, torrential rain, the event organisers and spectators were rewarded and the sun came out for what was a magnificent parade of floats, each celebrating the district’s heritage in tulip and food production to the theme of Food, Glorious Food.
A crowd estimated to equal last year’s 35,000 to 40,000 was able to sit or stand in sunshine while they enjoyed the spectacle. The parade of floats was headed by 2012 Flower Queen Amy Harrison, looking radiant as she passed by on her coach and horses, accompanied by runners-up Jessica Hallifax and Lauren Rate.
The royal entourage continued with the float bearing Miss Jersey Battle of Flowers, Rebecca Houzé, who was accompanied by the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Parade Prince and Princess, Jordan Cunningham and Milly Hitcham.
The crowds were then treated to fabulous float after fabulous float as well as bands, with children in fancy dress adding to the fun – as did a giant red lobster, visible for some distance down the parade route as it waved its legs around.
There were cubs, scouts and brownies in the parade as well as the traditional vintage cyclists. The lead rider in the Long Sutton and District Veteran Cycle Club’s contingent was making an impressive 50th appearance in the parade.
The attractive tulip decorated floats, lively bands and other entertainers made the procession from Springfields Arena around the town in front of a crowd of thousands without major mishap.
There were a few trips and falls by visitors, which parade safety officer Peter Odam said is to be expected of what is a predominantly elderly audience.
As a result of the rain, the parade did not finish at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field as planned and so visitors were denied the opportunity to get close up to the floats and to hear the sassy Andrews Sisters tribute act, The Swingcats, perform on the field.
Instead, the chilly wind meant the crowds dispersed quite quickly and the town soon started to look back to normal again.
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• Our 54th Spalding Flower Parade souvenir edition of the Lincolnshire Free Press is out on Tuesday. If you wish to order one to be sent in the post call 01775 765433 during office hours (not open Bank Holiday Monday).
• To see loads more pictures from the day and for details on how to buy them, click on Buy A Photo at the foot of this page