A COLOURFUL array of floats took to the streets for the 91st Basildon and Pitsea Carnival.

Hundreds of people got into the spirit, cheering on the procession as it snaked its way from the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Wickhay, through the town centre, finishing in Burnt Mills Road.

Spectators soaked up the sunshine as temperatures soared to 27 degrees.

Street dancers, musicians and performers entertained crowds on the way.

The spectacle came to a close with a fun-filled fete at Northlands Park, featuring stalls, a funfair, a fire engine and donkey rides.

Basildon mayor Mo Larkin said: “It was a really lovely day for everyone. A lot of people turned up to watch the floats and see the procession arrive in Northlands Park.

“The weather was on our side for the first time in a long time, and I think that added to people’s good spirits.

“The carnival is so important and I’m glad it’s been able to continue, because it really brings the community together.”

Its had been in jeopardy because of lack of sponsorship, but organisers breathed a sigh of relief when a residents’ group stumped up the necessary cash to rescue the event after reading about their problems in the Echo.

The carnival charities for the year were Macmillan Cancer Care and the Burned Children’s Club, based in Malyons Place, Basildon.

Past carnivals have been held in June, but following the success of this year’s September event, organisers are considering sticking with the later date.

Mrs Larkin added: “I think moving the carnival to September is a wonderful idea. It gives organisers more time to get everything ready – and we seem to keep having such lovely sunshine in September .”