ROYALTY: Ilfracombe Carnival Queen Lucy Sargent, 11, (centre) with princesses, Sadie Cox, 11, and Hannah Wells, 9. Photo: Jane Perrin
CARNIVAL fever explodes over Ilfracombe as the grand procession gets under way tonight.
Preparations for the parade have been going on behind the scenes for weeks.
The parade will be presided over by Ilfracombe's newly crowned Carnival Queen Lucy Sargent, 11, from Ilfracombe, and her princesses, Sadie Cox, 11, from Braunton and Hannah Wells, 9, from Ilfracombe.
Shops have also been making their preparations and when judge John Fowler made his tour of the town, he declared that High Street butcher Mike Turton was the winner in the Best Shop Window competition.
At the Landmark Theatre, children have been joining education officer Carol Turner for "Animal Magic" workshops, where fantastic animal-print costumes and elaborate head-dresses have been created to add to tonight's spectacular parade.
They also learned African drumming and dancing, to add to the carnival atmosphere.
Sue Ayre from the St John's carnival committee said the parade would gather at the swimming pool car park for judging at 6.30pm, before making off for its tour of the town at 7.30pm.
The carnival will parade through High Street, around the corner to Wilder Road and head down to the seafront.