SUNSHINE, fun and laughter celebrated the summer solstice in style on Saturday as Runcorn Town Carnival was hailed a huge success.

More than 5,000 visitors flocked to the Heath Park showground as the event was bigger and better than ever.

Carnival chairman Mike Fowles,aged 35, landlord of the Barley Mow pub in Church Street, said: “We had a fantastic turnout.

“The weather was brilliant.

“Everyone came to have fun. It was a really good day.

“Stallholders were happy with the new arrangement of their village and community groups were so pleased to get their messages out, they’ve already booked for next year.”

Children dressed as elves and fairies rode in a mystical fairyland float donated by B&Q.

Pupils from St Edward’s RC Primary School captured the sun-kissed atmosphere with a beach themed float.

A Samba band and Cheshire Police Corps of Drums kept the beat moving as the colourful parade meandered through the old town.

Mike paid tribute to the army of volunteers, including Runcorn Spartans and Runcorn Sea Cadets who helped to make the day run without a glitch.

He said: “It is testament to everyone who helped that everything went so smoothly. It takes a full 12 months of planning.

“Everyone puts their time in for nothing. We meet as a committee every week.

“All we want is just to have a day when the community of Runcorn can enjoy themselves.”