New Carnival Court is selected for personality and knowledge of town

Carnival Court SUS-160419-094418001
Carnival Court SUS-160419-094418001

Hannah Burgess has been appointed as this year’s Carnival Queen in a selection evening judged by Deputy Mayor Judy Rogers.

The five candidates were judged on personality and their knowledge of Hastings in the selection event, held by the new Hastings Old Town Carnival Association, at the East Hastings Angling Club, last Sunday.

Also on the judging panel were Nadine Salmon, who had been the Court Chaperone for many years until her retirement at the last AGM, and Laylah Dobinson, who had been Carnival Queen in 2014.

The event was compered by last year’s Carnival Queen, Chloe Stretton.

Hannah Burgess, who was one of last year’s Carnival Princesses, also won the title of Miss Hastings.

This year’s Carnival Princesses were Talitha Ford, who too had been a Carnival Princess last year and shares her 17th birthday with the Queen, and promising newcomer, Frankie Stewart, 16.

Carnival spokesman Ion Castro said: “It was once again a difficult decision for the judges who were all impressed with the contestants’ obvious affection for our town.”

As well as taking a leading role in this year’s carnival procession, the carnival court will represent the town at a number of other carnivals across Sussex and Kent.

Carnival will be on Saturday August 6 this year with a ‘1066 and all that’ theme and, to make entry more accessible, the new committee is encouraging more pedestrian entries so that you won’t need a motorised float.

The Pram race will be on the preceding Wednesday, (August 3) and details and entry forms will be on the official website,

The procession takes place at the end of Old Town Week - a packed week of activities and special events including the annual Crown Lane cycle race and a fancy dress Treasure Hunt around the Old Town.

There will also be a number of guided walks, open houses, open art studios and talks taking place during the week.

Hastings Old Town Carnival has been in existence since 1968. In those days Hastings and St Leonards had their own carnival which missed out the Old Town so Old Towners decided to have their own, better, carnival.

Hastings Old Town Carnival is run by an unpaid band of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers.

Hastings Old Town Carnival Association handed out £11,200 to 36 local charities and good causes last year. A special trophy was awarded to the RNLI for the largest amount of money collected.

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