THE POPULAR Ringwood Carnival returns for the 68th year in a row this Saturday.

The day of celebration and events features two processions, live music, entertainment, fun fair and fireworks.

This year's processions will be led by Carnival Queen Morgan Long on a horse-drawn carriage.

Morgan will be accompanied by a Stanley Steamer steam car, owned and restored by Richard Knott, and a number of traditional traction engines.

Ringwood town mayor Tim Ward is set to take his place on the steam car, although he said he had not seen the vehicle.

"I'm really looking forward to the day. I'm a fan of cars and vintage motors," Cllr Ward said.

"A lot of hard work goes into the carnival. The committee do an awful lot of work to make it a success.

"We have a lot of floats from different groups. Children's organisations are popular in the afternoon procession and then we have others in the evening."

The first procession takes place at 2pm, with the illuminated evening procession at 7.15pm.

The fun fair at Carvers recreation ground runs from Thursday until late on Saturday.

The event culminates in a grand fireworks display from 9.30pm at Carvers.

Alix Gardner, this year's chairperson of Ringwood Carnival Society, said:

"As our poster states, Carnival is a: 'festival of fun, supporting local causes'.

"These are two very important elements for the Carnival Society, and this has been the case for almost 100 years.

"Carnival is about having fun. For you, this may be taking part in a procession entry, dancing to the many bands around the town, watching our street entertainers, trying out a fairground ride for the first time or seeing the reaction of the prize winners in the market place."

"There are so many different ways to have fun throughout the day – and that is the intention of the committee.

Ringwood Carnival Society is a registered charity and plays an important role in Ringwood.

Alongside organising and co-ordinating the annual event for the town, Alix said the charity gave a lot back to the community.

"The second important element is 'supporting local causes'.

"Through this 'festival of fun', the society's aim is to raise and donate funds to local charities, organisations and good causes.

"Carnival donates to local causes that request help from us. We receive requests from many different causes each year and the executive committee have the hard decision of who gets our donations.

"But one thing will always stay the same; we are a local charity helping local causes and we have an almighty amount of fun along the way."