TOWN centre streets were filled with loud music and loud colours for the 27th annual Huddersfield Carnival.

Clouds cleared to bring thousands of the revellers to the carnival, which celebrates all things Caribbean and African.

The festival, on Saturday afternoon, began with music and dancing at the Hudawi centre, on Great Northern Street, followed by a parade to Huddersfield town centre.

The 13-float Mas Band parade, consisting of DJs, MCs, dancers and performers dressed in flamboyant costumes, danced and marched its way through Huddersfield’s streets to St George’s Square.

The dancing bands, from Huddersfield, Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, Preston and Nottingham, performed on stage in St George’s Square, which was earlier host to live reggae bands.

Huddersfield carnival band Education 2000 teamed up with Explosion, of Bradford, to win the best carnival band contest.

Visitors of all ages and backgrounds enjoyed Caribbean food and other entertainment in St George’s Square.

Carnival veteran Gracelyn Joseph, 53, of Deighton, said: “It was good and the colours were lovely. There weren’t as many bands in costumes but I had a good time. I always do.”

Doriel Nelson and her sister Angelina Thomas, originally from Huddersfield, both came from London to see friends and family taking part in the parade.

Doriel, 50, said: “It’s a really good show. The weather has cleared and the parade is nice and colourful. It’s nice to see friends and family taking part.

Angelina, 52, said: “It’s really good. The weather has been really nice. It’s a pity there weren’t more bands like last year, but it’s been very good.”

Carnival committee member Natalie Pinnock-Hamilton said: “At one stage we thought it was going to be ruined by the rain but it went really well.

“It is loud but to us that’s normal, though there were some children with fingers in their ears! I think the highlight is watching the bands when they get to St George’s Square.”

Just because the carnival is over for the year doesn’t mean there will be any rest for the committee.

Natalie added: “One we’ve finished it we have to start again.”

The carnival followed a ‘J’ouvert’ celebration in the small hours of Saturday on the streets of Huddersfield town centre.

J’ouvert (a contraction of the French ‘jour ouvert’ meaning ‘daybreak’) originates from the eastern Caribbean.

The celebration involves bands and their followers dancing through the streets while watchers smear paint, oil or mud on the participants.

See our picture gallery on Page Three.

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