The countdown to this year’s Weymouth Carnival has begun.

There’s less than a week to go until the town’s summer smasher gets underway.

Organisers are hoping the sun will be out in full force over the two days, next Tuesday and the main day on Wednesday.

There's a few changes this year – including the fact that the event is supporting a single charity, the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, rather than dividing the money raised among good causes.

The Red Arrows also won’t be appearing, and there will be a longer and more varied programme.

Carnival Chairman Stacey Andrew said: “I think people will be surprised because of the changes, but I am sure they will still enjoy it. We have had some opposition over the loss of the Red Arrows, but it’s one flight and we have five in its place.”

The air display will begin at 1pm on the Wednesday and will see the return of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Last year the aircraft were grounded due to a technical fault, however visitors will once again be able to hear the roar of the historic planes.

As well as this, Otto The Helicopter from O’Brien’s Flying Circus will be visiting bringing a flying pyrotechnics extravaganza.

The two-day event will kick off with a brand-new dog show on the Tuesday at the Pavilion end of the beach from 10am.

Miss Andrew said: "It hasn't been done before at Weymouth Carnival. We're expecting quite a few people down there. Weymouth is a town of dog lovers."

There'll also be a special performance from the RAF Police Dog Display Team on both days.

The food and trade stalls will be erected in the car park behind the Pavilion.

Miss Andrew said: “Businesses are all for it, they are amazed that it’s changed so much. A lot of them have been selling raffle tickets for the grand draw. Everyone is backing us which is fantastic.”

The procession will set off from the Pavilion at 6.30pm on the Wednesday.

Miss Andrew said procession manager, Curtis Ottoway, has helped to make this year’s procession the biggest one yet.

She said: “Curtis has been amazing he has really rallied the troops. It is going to be the biggest procession yet with 50 floats. The most I have known in the last few years is 30.”

The new Carnival Queen, Lizzie Graham, and princesses said they can’t wait for this year’s procession.

Junior Princess Erin Newport, 11, said: “I am excited for it all. It’s all new and different this year.

“It’ll be strange to be a princess and the centre of attention.”

Carnival Princess Lisa Cottingham, 16, said: “I am very excited, I didn’t expect to be chosen as this year’s princess. I am excited for it all, but especially the procession.”

The carnival royalty will be crowned at the New Vic at 10am on the Wednesday.

Carnival will finish with the annual grand draw on Wednesday evening after an explosive fireworks display.

This year’s grand prize will be £5,000 instead of a flashy car.

Miss Andrew added: “People are spending the money before they’ve even got a ticket, you can see it in their faces.”

Weymouth Carnival will take place on Tuesday, August 14 and Wednesday, August 15.

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