BUMPER crowds packed out Christchurch for the town's annual carnival at the weekend.

Hundreds of people lined the streets for Sunday's parade, which has been held in Christchurch now for more than a century.

The parade theme was 'musicals' with participants dressing up in honour of their favourite films and musical stars of stage and screen.

Carnival committee chairman Heather Scott said: "People have been brilliant, we've had thousands attending.

"Saturday was wonderful, the weather held off for us, we had lots of people attending and having picnics throughout the afternoon. In the evening we had a wonderful fireworks display as well."

Events took place on the quayside throughout the weekend, with visitors enjoying live music, a funfair, refreshments and a host of other activities.

Before the main parade, there was a dog show and live acoustic music from the Coda Music Centre.

Miss Scott added: "It has been busy and the quay was bustling."

The procession took around an hour-and-a-half to wind its way from Two Riversmeet to Christchurch Quay.

Among those watching was Kerry Atkins, and her young family.

She said: "This has been a really fun day out for everyone, there's been plenty to do for the kids and the grown-ups.

"It was raining and overcast this morning, but its turned out lovely now."

"Hopefully, we'll be coming back next year."

Fellow carnival reveller Martyn Houghton said: "There is something typically British about an event like this, which should be nurtured.

"Traditions are important, well done to everyone involved."

Meanwhile, a carnival spokesman explained: "Remarkably, the carnival has now been successful for over 100 years and is run completely by a willing band of volunteers.

"This entails months of hard work behind the scenes, but our sole aim is to put on the best weekend possible for Christchurch.

"Every year we support local charities with donations from the money raised at the annual carnival."

Over the last few years charities and organisations such as Christchurch Community First Responders, Christchurch fire station community room, Dorset Scouts 4x4 and the Highcliffe branch of Marie Curie have received donations.

Prizes were also awarded after Sunday's parade for best float and carnival star.