ORGANISERS are counting down to this year’s Dorchester Carnival.

In a surprise addition to the event, more than 100 motorbikes will be leading the way at the procession on Saturday.

Organisers from the Dorchester Round Table said the surprise for the annual extravaganza was revealed in the carnival’s programme available from today.

Dorchester-based SJR Bikes, found in Jonson Trading Park, has organised the rally which will involve a mixture of bikes both modern and classic and it is hoped more riders will join in.

The Round Table members who run the show are also encouraging more people to enter the hero and villain themed procession, which so far has 46 entries, to reach a record-beating number of 50 floats.

The streets of Dorchester have been gradually transforming with colourful bunting and banners ready for the annual extravaganza which is being sponsored by Brewery Square.

Festivities will kick off with the Four Legged Race on Thursday from the Blue Raddle pub followed by the Party in the Park in the Borough Gardens on Friday evening with music and dance and a barbecue.

On Saturday the Street Fair will begin in the morning with the grand procession starting at 6pm from the market car park that evening.

Marten Gregory, from the Round Table, said the organisers were excited about the bikes leading this year’s procession.

He said: “We are hoping this year’s procession will be bigger than ever before.

“There will be 100 motorbikes leading the way – weather permitting.”

He added: “It’s great to see the carnival come round another year.

“Carnivals are only as good as the people who enter and we are lucky in Dorchester that it’s well supported.”

Stuart Chorley, co-owner of SJR Bikes, said: “We are absolutely excited about leading the procession.

“The carnival is such a fun day and heading up the procession will be really good.”

He added: “There will be a whole mixture of bikes and anyone who wants to join us should get in touch.

“We will also be having a barbecue at the shop afterwards.”

Carnival chairman John Palmer said: “We have had fantastic support this year with a new main sponsor.

“We are now looking forward to seeing all the procession themed hero and villain entries.”

Procession chairman Ellis Ford added: “Having a float will mean people are getting involved in a real fun event while raising cash for a charity of their choice.”

If you are interested in having a float in the procession, contact Ellis Ford on 07809 533251.

If you would like to join in with SJR’s bike procession, call 01305 259778.

For more information visit Carnival programmes are now available from the TIC in Antelope Walk, Dorchester.