THE Red Arrows will not be taking to the skies to thrill crowds at Swanage Carnival this year.

Carnival and Regatta chairman Maria Foot has confirmed the Royal Air Force aerobatics team will not perform at this summer's event due to a clash with the pilots' leave.

The Red Arrows made a welcome return to Swanage Carnival in 2017, for the first time in four years.

On the latest news, Maria said: "Obviously we are disappointed that the Red Arrows cannot fly at Swanage this year, but as Carnival clashes with their annual leave they could not fit us into their schedule.

"We wish them well in their 54th season, that is also the Royal Air Force’s centenary year.

"Preparations for Carnival 2018 are well underway, we are excited to be introducing some brand new events including our new 'Sporting Saturday' and look forward to welcoming visitors to the number one carnival on the South coast."

This year's carnival procession will have a safari theme.

Last year's Swanage Carnival and Regatta Week raised £25,600 for 25 chosen charities.

Despite gale force winds and torrential rain, tens of thousands of revellers flocked to the Victorian seaside town for what is one of the biggest events of its kind in the south.

During the committee's November AGM, outgoing chairman Becky Mack said: "Our theme for 2018 is safari and we are hoping that you will come along and explore our carnival showground, rehydrate at our Carnival Arms waterhole and hunt our prizes in our many competitions and games.

"If you can help us with organising an event, or are interested in sponsoring an event to ensure the event goes ahead, please email our chairman Maria."

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This year's carnival and regatta takes place from July 28 until August 4.