IT seems appropriate that a man dressed as the worst elements of the British weather won a first prize at Saturday’s Okehampton Carnival, with the weather doing its worst to dampen spirits, but unable to ruin the party atmosphere.

Strong winds and rain did not deter the people of the town from entering into the carnival spirit. And while the rain did lash down during the afternoon procession, they were rewarded in the evening by a pause in the downpours.

Among the floats snaking their way through the town were Egyptian dancers, two enterprising youngsters with their own cop car and Irish leprechauns.

And there was plenty of imagination on display in the children’s classes, which were judged in the dry of the Charter Hall before the afternoon procession got going.

These including a model biplane, flown by Isla Barton, who won first prize in the six to seven years category, Roahl Dahl characters and a cute Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny.

Young Jake Friend and Oscar Barker won the non-motorised vehicles category in the afternoon procession with their home-made cop car, and had their picture taken with real-life Okehampton policeman PC Nathan Walker.

Among the collectors who took to the streets to shake a bucket, there was much ingenuity on display. Street collector Benjamin Rogers took first prize for his Great British Weather costume. And there was royalty in Okehampton, with carnival queen Yasmin Langman having her own float and the prince and princess Zac Funnell and Evie Allen having theirs.

Mayor Jan Goffey said: ‘It went very well and we were very lucky in the evening because the rain stopped. The committee had to monitor the weather very carefully because we couldn’t afford to take any risks if the wind had got up. They made the decision to go ahead, though, because in Okehampton we are used to a bit of wind and rain. We are hardy souls!

‘The atmosphere was great. It was lovely to see so many people come out and support the carnival. All up the main street and all around the roads, there were people waving and clapping. The community support was brilliant.

‘It was great to see the primary school taking part as a group, and one of the dance classes too.’

She called for more people to come along and support a coffee morning held in the morning of the carnival.

‘I would like to remind everyone that there is a coffee morning in the Chapter Hall in the morning, before the children’s judging, which helps to raise the funds to put on the carnival.’

Organiser Karen Penna said that the collection at the carnival had raised £1,400 towards next year’s event.

‘There were well over 100 children taking part in the afternoon. They all got wet, but they all had a great time. We asked them if they wanted a parade before we started, and they said “we want a parade”. They weren’t going to let Storm Brian stop them.’