AN ENTIRE town came together over the weekend to take part in a festival of fun.

The Penarth Winter Carnival saw residents, artists, traders and more work together to create a vibrant community festival. The event ran from Saturday March 2 to Tuesday March 5.

The Vale brewery Tomos and Lilford produced a special beer called “Carnival - Penarth Pale Ale”.

Meanwhile the two Penarth butchers, Thompson Family Butchers and David Lush Butchers, both created their own special Penarth carnival sausages.

The organisers estimated that more than 100 people took part in costume in the walk through town on Saturday, which saw the coronation of the ‘First Fool’ at 11am. The procession marched from Sully Terrace through town.

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

The ‘First Fool’ was then sent by train to the Tower of London to bring news of the Carnival to the traditional resting place of the head of Bendigeidfran, where he met the Raven Master.

Long distance cyclist Dave Hann was due to cycle to Harlech, north Wales to raise money for the RNLI Penarth, and bring news to Harlech that Carnival had broken out in Penarth.

Unfortunately Mr Hann only got as far as Cardigan before Storm Freya made it too dangerous to continue. Organisers have one barrel of carnival ale left and will take it to Harlech by train in the next few weeks to share it and the storybook of the carnival.

On Sunday, two rugby teams took part in a “tug-o-sausage” to decide which butcher’s sausage was better. Congratulations were extended to the winners, Team Thompson.

Congratulations were also extended to the traders Ener-chi and Lilypad by the organisers, for having the best-dressed shop windows. Particular praise was singled out for the carnival flowers at Holm House Hotel created by Lilypad.

Further nights of partying, songs and dancing were spotted in the Albion, St Fagan’s Castle, and other pubs, bars and venues across Penarth. There were also celebrations on the Penarth Pier on Tuesday night following a Pancake Day event, while wandering bands of musicians like Wonderbrass kept spirits high.

The festival culminated in a grand Mardis Gras party on Tuesday, which saw crowds of costumed residents dance the night away.

Richard Parry, one of the carnival organisers, said: “Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Carnival finished last night on Mardi Gras.

“Thanks to everyone who took part, contributed, encouraged, sponsored, smiled and partied, especially those people who took a carnival Bank Holiday Monday.

“It was fabulous to hear your Carnival Bank Holiday stories, and to all those people who have had little private carnival moments of joy over the festival, that’s what it has all been about.

“And some people have already said, ‘see you next year!’

“There were lots of people laughing and smiling on the sidelines, telling me they wanted to take part next year – just with a little more notice next time. But now it’s established, we’ll be back next year and ready for even more people to join in the fun!”