AFTER a morning of heavy rain, organisers feared Saturday’s [August 2] Blackwood Carnival could be a washout.

But the sun came out as the parade, which this year counted 300 participants, marched down the High Street in Blackwood towards Pontllanfraith Civic Centre.

Jim Criddle, councillor for Pontllanfraith, said: “The weather managed to pull the rabbit out of the hat and lo and behold it has behaved itself.”

Crowds lined the streets to see the two marching bands, fancy dress competitors and the carnival queen, before spending time at the fun fair, dog show, dance displays and 40 stalls.

John Hold, organiser of the carnival, which is now in its 15th year, said: “First thing this morning I thought it was going to be horrible. I’m pleased with the numbers considering the weather.

“We spend around £6,000 on the carnival, but Pontllanfraith Rotary Club has also been very supportive for many years, initially through Richard Bullen who passed away this year.

“It was Richard who got the carnival back on track in 2000 so it’s important to keep it going in his memory.”

This year’s carnival queen, 15-year-old Sally-Ann Morgan from Fleur-de-Lys, said: “It’s a really exciting day. I was quite startled when I found out I had been chosen as I wasn’t expecting it.

Ms Morgan, who is hoping to go on to sixth form and then train to be a midwife, said: “I haven’t stopped weather updating for the last week.”

Just after 1pm the rain started up again but it did not stop punters from enjoying dance performances from groups DYT and Dancelicious.

Charlotte Kane and her cat Felix were crowned first place in the fancy dress competition with their Dorothy and the Tin Man costumes, the fourth year in a row the pair have won.

Suzie Thomas, from Bargoed, also won a prize for her vampire costume, while her mum came second place with her pirate outfit.

The Mayor of Caerphilly, Cllr David Carter, said: “It’s been a smashing morning and the parade brought the community together. The girls also looked lovely.”