CARNIVAL bosses in Walton are promising that this weekend's summer spectacular is going to be bigger and better than ever before.

Chairman Karlie McGregor says the town is gearing up for two fun-packed days, with a host of events for all ages.

She said: "It's going to be a fantastic weekend. There is lots going on, with something for everyone, from little kids to the older generation.

"This will be the biggest carnival we have done with regards to all the different events running over the weekend.

"The more support we get, the more we can put on next year – it's only going to get bigger and better."

Veteran organiser Sylvia Marvel will get the red carpet treatment to thank her for years spent staging the event.

Karlie said: "Because this year's theme is Walton's heritage, we've tracked her down.

"Sylvia and her late husband Peter ran carnival for 20 years and have been a massive support so we wanted to give something back for all the years she was running around like a headless chicken.

"She provided so much information, pictures and memorabilia so we decided to make her our honorary carnival queen for the day.

"She is having her hair done first thing on Saturday morning, and then heading into Walton to have her nails done before going to the Columbine Centre for tea.

"Then a vintage Rolls Royce is picking her up and taking her to the Naze to drive her around the procession route."

The carnival starts on Bathhouse Meadow on Saturday at midday with a family fun day, featuring inflatables, donkey rides and barbecue.

There are performances by dance troupes and cheerleaders from 1pm, followed by an auction with a £1,000 executive caravan holiday star prize in Devon.

The carnival procession – including a tank, Routemaster bus and military vehicles – leaves the Naze for Bathhouse Meadow at 5pm.

There is a heritage exhibition in the Columbine Centre, cream teas, live music and a race night on the big screen at 7pm.

The fun continues on Sunday from 11am with a companion dog show, with more than 30 classes, followed by a children's disco and live music by All Revved Up from 7pm.

The grand finale is a fireworks display from off the pier at about 9.30pm.