THE Winter Carnival in Penarth has begun final preparations, with shop window decorations, offers in restaurants and bars, the brewing of a special winter carnival beer and more all coming together.

The event will run from Saturday 2 March 2 to Tuesday March 5.

On Thursday and Friday afternoons, Bute town carnival artists will be holding a ‘mas camp’ at Penarth Pier to help residents design costumes and decorations.

On Saturday morning at 11am, a ‘First Fool’ will be appointed to preside over the carnival on Sully Terrace, and children from local schools have been learning songs and dances for his coronation.

Straight afterwards, long-distance cyclist Dave Hann said he will cycle from Penarth to Harlech, Gwynedd to carry the news that carnival has broken out on the south Wales coast.

At 11.30am in Penarth Library, there will be a presentation of the head of Bendigeidfran, from The Mabinogion. The head was made by children from Cogan and Penygarth schools.

Both butchers in town said they will make special carnival sausages, and Penarth’s two rugby clubs are in discussions about a tug-of-war to settle the the matter of which carnival sausages are the finest on Sunday.

The carnival declaration proclaims the third day will be a carnival Bank Holiday Monday and “people who are in the habit of working” are encouraged to take the day off.

Nightingales Nursery will be holding a carnival day on Monday including a carnival parade in special handmade costumes around Belle Vue Park at 9am.

There will be a big pancake party for children on Pancake Tuesday after school and a grand Mardi Gras party.

In place of floats people are encouraged to walk the streets in costume, visit venues and cafes, and use the public space to come together. Groups of musicians are expected in the town over the festival to play informally on the streets and in restaurants, shops and bars.

Costume ideas range from traditional Welsh folk costumes, through to full Brazilian carnival Mardi Gras style.

Penarth Carnival ribbon has been woven in Wales for the event and strips are available in shops for £1 each. Various outlets are offering discounts and other offers to anyone wearing a ribbon.

Everyone is encouraged to get involved, with a spokesman from the carnival team saying: “The smallest carnival is a carnival of one person, and proper traditional carnival days are simply made of groups of families, friends and colleagues having fun together and then joining with more other groups. It’s a big invitation to have fun.”

For more information including a full list of planned events, visit the Carnival HQ in Rowleys on Glebe Street or