It’s a long day today. Margate carnival is always a long one and potentially being lead car makes it even longer. Also having to pick everyone up means a few stops on the way.
Luckily everything was still packed from yesterdays carnival. I had already sorted out Bella’s outfits last night while our impromptu ‘party’ was going ahead. Bella had decided today she wanted to be a princess just like dress. She had chosen to wear her Minnie Mouse dress, I had bought her for when we go to DisneyLand Paris next year, her pretty silver pumps and even a little tiara. She was so proud of herself all dressed up.
Daly loaded up the car. Thankfully I hadn’t had to prepare a picnic today as I’d said in yesterdays blog, Dawn and I had banded together to buy the picnic and Dawn was making it for us. Bella helped Daly pack the car, putting her own bag in the boot before twirling on the drive to show Daddy what a princess she was.
We finally got ourselves in the car so we could head to Daly’s parents. When we got there Dawn was just getting dressed so I gathered up the cool bags and popped them in the boot. Tony was also meeting us there so we went inside to sit down briefly while we waited for Tony to turn up. Not long after Tony arrived, Dawn and Grant were ready so it was time to get going.
Daly and Grant sat up front with Daly driving, Grant was directing even though Daly pretty much knew where he was going. Dawn and Bella sat in the middle while Tony and I took up residence in the back of the car.
It didn’t take us too long to get to Margate. There were a few little hold ups but nothing as bad as we had thought there was going to be. We made our way into the line up and parked at the front. Turns out we were actually going to be rear vehicle today. That didn’t bother us. All we have to do is sit at the very back of the carnival.
Where we park up for the carnival line up is a massive field. Dawn and I got out the car and set up the blankets for our picnic. We grabbed all the food and settled down to relax.
Bella was straight in the cool bags. Something tells me she was hungry. Not sure why because she always has breakfast. But in she divided.
Dawn, Bella and I sat and enjoyed our picnic and we were soon joined by Char and Euan who had turned up with the Teynham girls and float.
Bella and Euan shared a packet of party rings nicely. Although, typically, they kept changing the colour of party ring they wanted. So instead of just eating all the pink ones, then the purple ones etc. They each had one pink one and then they wanted a purple one leaving the rest of the pink ones just chilling in the packet.
The Teynham court were walking up and down the line up to say hello to the other courts but they finally came and joined us. And dug straight into our picnic. Wouldn’t expect anything less from these girls. Our massive pot of cucumber decreased rapidly once the two of them sat down.
It was soon time for everyone to start to get into position for the carnival to kick off. Two fire engines came down to be the head of the carnival. There weren’t two fire engines for long though. They’d only been parked up for 2 minutes before the driver of the first engine shouted ‘Shout!’ and all the firemen from his engine jumped back it. It was quite entertaining to watch all the marshals watch the engine zoom off.
It wasn’t long after that before it was time for the carnival to actually start. Daly turned the car round so we were ready to join on to the back of the parade once it had gone past us. I sat on the window ledge of the front passengers seat in the car so I had a good vantage point of the carnival for photos.
Bella was riding in Teynham’s tow vehicle with Grandma and Grandad. Grandad had offered to have Bella every carnival so I was taking him up on that offer. Also I didn’t want her in the car with us because she would have to be strapped in (for the whole 3 hoursish of the carnival) as with us marshalling we can’t concentrate on Bella fully and it’s not fair for her to be stuck in the car seat for that long. Riding with Grandma she sits on Grandma’s lap and waves to everyone.
It was brilliant to see all the floats and kinda experience the carnival. I only get to see two carnivals properly during the year which is Sittingbourne, which we didn’t attend this year, and Faversham carnival which is Kent’s only illuminated carnival. Sitting on the side of the car and being parked at the front was perfect. And with my current downer on my photos it was a perfect opportunity to get snapping.
*Spoiler it might become more photos than text now*
There were some amazing carnival costumes. I absolutely loved the costumes that looked like flowers. They really were beautiful. As well as flowers they had lions and swans. It had a proper carnival vibe to it.
Silver Slipper dance school were there with their mascot bear. I have a photo of Bella from her first Margate carnival with their mascot so I made sure I captured a few photos of the bear for Bella. It was a shame she wasn’t with us but I’m sure Grandma and Grandad showed her the bear.
There were lots of Disney princesses in the parade. We saw Ariel, Rapunzel and Elsa. Three of Bella’s favourite princesses.
The Wonder Girls, a pom dance troupe from Bognor, attend a lot of the Kent carnivals. Once again I tried to be a little creative with my photos of them.
Soon it was time for Teynham’s float to set off. With Grandad driving and Grandma and Bella sitting in the front waving. Bella had a big smile for me as they set off.
There were some creative floats/entrees this year. There was a group called the Cleaning Queens. Hats off to this guy who channeled his inner Freddie Mercury. I’m not sure if he managed to complete the whole route in his heels but he obviously took it very seriously.
One of my favourite floats of the day was the Wizard of Oz float. It was so colourful. I loved all the balloons and flags.
Eventually the carnival had made it’s way past us and it was time to follow the carnival. I jumped in the car with Daly and off we went. Everything was smooth sailing until we noticed there was no marshal walking near us who was opening the roads as we passed.
Daly didn’t want me to open the roads really. He had told me that I was going in the car with him so I didn’t walk the carnival especially after my melt down yesterday. Daly got out of the car and opened the first few roads and then we’d role on to the next road he’d stop the car and get out and do it all again.
This worked well however we eventually got to a point where Daly was out of the car and the carnival was rolling so I jumped in the driving seat. That made me feel important. For a short time I was the driver of the rear vehicle but that was short lived Daly soon jumped back in and I shifted over so he could drive.
We then noticed there were a few roads that needed opening again. This time I jumped out and opened them. I was proud of myself. I mean it may sound stupid to other people but it was a huge deal for me to get out of the car and open the roads. I luckily had grabbed my high vis before we started so I could marshal if needed.
Soon all the side roads had disappeared and I could jump back in the car.
We made it to the top of the hill by the Turner Contemporary where the carnival was held for a ten minute break. Well the carnival was held at the clock tower at the base of the hill along the sea front but we were at the back so that’s where we stopped.
Being stopped at the top of the hill meant we could actually see the front of the carnival way off in the distance. I had a brilliant vantage point to take photos overlooking the whole carnival.
We wormed our way through the rest of Margate and out the otherside. We were eventually joined by Tony and Mikey who took over opening the roads for us. Although I did get out at one point and open one more side road.
When we reached the very end Tony jumped in the car and we followed the floats round to Westgate and the fields along the sea front. All the court floats were parking up on the grass to have their food before we all disappeared off for the evenings entertainment.
We drove on to the field and parked in front of the floats and were quickly joined by the lead vehicle driven by Lou. We decided we were going to park directly in front of Teynham’s float. Daly loves to wind Richard up.
The girls were sitting down by the floats enjoying some food. Bella was very excited to see us. She’d obviously missed us but according to Dawn she had been getting restless and grumpy in the car. Her favourite word had been no all afternoon. No surprising though, she seemed to be very tired.
Once everyone had finished eating it was time to hit Dreamland. Dawn gave me Grant’s wristband as he didn’t want to go on any rides. We hit the park and headed off to find some rides. Grant, Daly and Tony just wandered round the park with Bella, sadly Bella is too small to go on any of the rides otherwise I would have bought her a wristband.
Dawn wanted to go on the Scenic Railway so we trekked round the whole park on the hunt for the entrance. While we walked round the park we spotted the Teynham girls off in the distance, Char and Richard with Euan, and the Dover girls having fun.
We made our way into the queue for the ride and were quickly joined by the Court of Kent. Not long after the organiser of Margate carnival, Jack, appeared behind us in the queue. He kept shouting at us ‘Showboat 8pm’
The Scenic Railway is way different to how it used to be. It used to be one of those rickety wooden roller coaster, well it’s still a wooden roller coaster but the train has changed from little wooden carriages with just a lap bar holding you in to these high backed metal carriages with seat belts like you’d find in a car and a lap bar. Obviously safety has been amped up greatly. Just a shame the seats are like metal cages with really high sides so you can’t really see anything.
When we got off the ride I shouted at Jack ‘Showboat 8pm’ It was now 8pm so we were all making our way over to the Showboat arcade. As we walked in the girls were all handed a little goodie bag of arcade treats and some pennies.
Dawn got Bella some 2ps and then her and Grandad set off to see what they could win.
While Bella and Grandad were playing with the 2p machines Daly tried his hand at the grab machines. There was a Disney one with lots of soft toys of the Disney princesses. Luckily she loves most of the princesses so he had lots of options to grab for her. I walked away for 5 secs and by the time I came back Daly had managed to win an Ariel toy.
When Daly called Bella over to show her, her face was a picture. She was so excited, she was jumping up and down squealing. It was the cutest thing ever. She even snuggled up on the floor with her giving her new dolly kisses.
We took a look around the rest of the arcade to see what games took Bella’s interested. She really liked the Pac Man air hockey but Bella is just a little too short to play yet. We continued round and Bella found a kinda Wack a Mole game. She grabbed the hammer and I showed her she needed to beat the moles on the head.
She seemed really interested so I ran to get her some pound coins. When I returned we popped in the pound and off she went wacking all the moles. On her first go she scored two all by herself. For some reason it gave you two goes for the pound rather than one so on the second round I helped her out. Between us we managed to score 17. Although I helped Bella did much better the second time.
We finished with Wack a Mole and Bella was back on the prowl for another game. She seems to really like the shooting games, I don’t know why, I’ve never encouraged them. It’s like she knows the term light saber and what they are used for but has never really seen anything Star Wars related.
She jumped into one of those big shooting game booths and Daly said he’d play with her. It was a Jurassic Park themed game and Bella loves her dinosaurs. Her and Daly did really well shooting all the giant bugs that were attacking their jeep and the the pterodactyls that were trying to eat them.
Bella discover Mario Kart. She loves this game and I’m always happy to let her have a go. That’s one pound I am happy to part with. She climbed up into the drivers seat and chose her character – Princess Peach of course. Then Daly had to lift her up to take her photo for the race.
To make things easy he sat Bella on his lap. The race was off. Bella steered her car round the track, with a little bit of help from Dad, but only a little. For the whole race Bella was in 3rd/2nd place but just as the final lap came to a close she managed to jump into first place and stay there. Winning the race.
Her finally activity of the day before we took her home to bed was one of those portrait booths. We used one when we took her on holiday last year and she wanted to do it again. Bella and I jumped into the booth and had our picture taken. Bella chose which picture we were going to use and what media it was going to be in. She chose a pencil sketch of us.
Daly loved the picture, he keeps telling me that he wants to frame it. It was time to leave so we gathered the troops and set of to the car park to find the car. We had had a brilliant day but Tony and I were especially tired. I’d wished I brought some pillows with me to curl up in the back of the car with. Instead though when cuddling up to the window wasn’t comfortable, Tony and I opened our phones and we played Pokemon go on the way home. Not that we managed to collect many. You can’t catch Pokemon on duel carriageways.
We had a wonderful day but a long day.
Anyways, night all and let’s see what adventures tomorrow holds for us.
Love CiCi x