CROWDS lined the streets of Christchurch to watch the town’s lively carnival parade today.

The annual two-day event included live music and dance at Christchurch Quay, fireworks, games and activities alongside the parade itself, which set off from the Two Riversmeet car park in bright sunshine on Sunday afternoon after a short spell of heavy rainfall.

See all the pictures from Christchurch Carnival in a gallery

Led by the Royal British Legion band, and made up of Christchurch firefighters, pirates, Vikings, flappers, brightly dressed zumba dancers and more, the parade delighted children and parents alike as it made its way through the High Street to Sopers Lane and St Margaret’s Avenue.

Southbourne resident Steve George was visiting with his wife Mandy and children Carla, 22, and Sophie, 11. He said: “It is very good this year, and we have only seen a little bit so far.

“We come along every year, this is my home town and it is always a friendly atmosphere. It is great how it brings everyone out onto the streets together.”

In first place was the IJAS Christchurch scouts pirate float, with the twins’ club Noah’s Ark in second and Soho restaurant’s Afrodisiac party float third.

Saturday saw juggling, plate spinning, crafts and performances by the Kaleidoscope dancers and Freedom Fitness Zumba on the quay, with a fireworks display set to music reflecting the events of the year.

There was live music from Southern Corruption, AsortofU2 and Ash, a Gary Barlow tribute act who appeared on the X Factor.

On Sunday, dog owners and their prized pets took away awards including ‘waggiest tail’ and ‘dog the judge would most like to take home’ at the PDSA dog show, and throughout the weekend children enjoyed the rides at B Coles funfair.

Organiser Julie Baker said: “It was very busy for the parade, despite the shower that drenched us all, and there were more than 2,000 on the quay last night which is brilliant.

“And we have found a new sponsor for our fireworks, Nigel Kennedy from Bedtime, so next year will be even bigger and better.”