CARNIVAL Queen Yasmin Langman has been chosen to lead the procession at Okehampton Carnvial this autumn.

Yasmin, 21, who lives in Sheepwash, will be taking up her position on the throne on October 21, when the carnival comes to town.

She will be attended by Prince and Princess, Zac Funnell, nine, and Evie Allen, six.

Yasmin, who works in a pet food factory in Winkleigh, said that taking the limelight was quite out of character for her.

‘It is a bit of a spontaneous change for me,’ she said. ‘I’m normally quite a shy, quiet person but I think it will be fun. Quite a few people I work with have heard that I am doing it, and they have said they will come along and support me.’

Yasmin was asked to take the throne by carnival committee member Karen Penna, who is her sister’s boyfriend’s mum. ‘We were at a barbecue and she said to me ‘we need a Carnival Queen’. I thought ‘why not?’

Yasmin has bought a dress for her day as Queen. ‘It is a sequiny long dress and is champagne in colour,’ she said. ‘I think I will be presented with a tiara by the mayor on the day, and last year’s Queen will present me with the sash.’

Yasmin, whose boyfriend Kieron is supporting her accession to the throne, enjoys baking in her spare time. She last took part in the carnival procession when she was at primary school. ‘I’ll just smile and wave!’ she said.

Organiser Karen Penna said that arrangements were well underway for the carnvial. ‘The children’s procession is in the afternoon and then there’s the main procession in the evening,’ she said. ‘It is only half an hour and we do get lots of people come out to watch it.

‘We have the fire brigade out in front - they are on call so if they get a shout they can just go - then there’s the Queen and princess and the mayor of Okehampton, then all the floats are behind that, making music. Hopefully we will get lots of collectors taking money off all the floats and the money raised goes to putting on the following year’s carnival.

‘There’s usually seven or eight young farmer’s clubs that take part in the procesion and they always seem to be enjoying themselves. They like to show off their tractors, they wash and polish them and are ever so proud,’ she added. ‘We get a couple of big visiting floats, too, from South Brent and Ottery St Mary. The Bideford Pipe Band will be playing, everyone likes the bag pipes and Rob Pudner, of Entertainingly Different, does a commentary as the floats go past the town hall.

‘There are lots of families who have moved away but they always come back for carnival time. It is a real family get together for a lot of people.’

People and groups in the town are being urged to take part in the procession, whether on foot or by entering a float. ‘You choose your own theme,’ said Karen. ‘It is all kept a secret so nobody knows who is doing what beforehand.’

Shops are also taking part, decorating their windows on the theme of ‘the four seasons’. There will be road closures in the town centre during the afternoon and early evening to allow for both processions.

Collectors are needed to shake a bucket during both day and evening events. Find out more by calling Sally Wilson on 07821 049538.