One giant step for Bont: The Apollo crew

THE crowds turned out in force to support the 50th Hendy, Pontarddulais and District Carnival 2018 on Saturday (Jun 23). People lined the streets from the Hendy Rugby Club all the way to the main field to watch the floats and walkers go by. Disney, the 60’s, even 50BC , Welsh rugby and children’s TV were represented as children and grown ups aired their creative talents by way of costumes, face paint and lots of cardboard props and glitter. It was a veritable mobile Blue Peter complete with town band belting out the tunes from the second floor of an open top bus.

Shop windows were decorated in keeping with the theme and the elderly took prime positions in their deckchairs along the road no doubt remembering the carnivals of old when they were young.

While some towns see the demise of their carnivals as volunteers become harder to find this small town on the very edge of Swansea bordering Llanelli more than punches its weight and has soldiered on to put on a carnival 50 years running. Dare we say there were more people taking part than at the Laugharne Festival.

Some things never change like the carnival princesses, the Rose Queen and Prince Charming. It is always a great excuse for men to dress up as women and vice versa. There is no doubting the effort put in by the community as organisations of all shapes and sizes provided something for the crowds to talk about. Even the vicar got into the spirit dressed up as Superman.

Politicians are always present and who can blame them? It is a great place to set up a stand and tout for voters. Nia Griffith MP, Tonia Antoniazzi MP, Lee Waters AM and Rebecca Evans AM were all enjoying the festivities.The Lord Mayor of Swansea David Phillips was one of the VIP guests. He was extremely impressed with the turnout.

Geraint the Snakeman always a firm favourite and guaranteed to put the shivers up any self respecting arachnophobe was there with his menagerie of snakes and creepy crawlies. The fire brigade were on hand helping the little ones dress up in their fire fighting gear.

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Vintage vehicles, the Women’s Institute, Radio Tircoed and many more stalls were scattered around the field. There was entertainment a plenty as acrobats, cheerleaders, dancers and even parachutists took to the air and ground.

The pubs around the town were doing a roaring trade as live bands belted out their 80’s themed music. The carnival depends on sponsors and patrons but is also supported by the Pontarddulais Town Council. The Mayor of Pontarddulais Clive Mathias said it was a great day, which highlighted how wonderful the community spirit in Pontarddulais is. He said “There are thousands on the road and it cements the community.”

We could continue gushing about how wonderful it all was but we will let the photographs and film do the talking for us. They say a picture is worth ten thousand words. There may not have been ten thousand people out and about in the Bont today but it seemed as near as damnit.

We will be publishing the results and a special film marking the 50th anniversary of the carnival here soon.

Photos: Noah Evans and Iwan Lewis

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