THIS year’s Witney Carnival theme is Once Upon a Time and organisers are hoping for a fairytale ending to Saturday’s event.

The annual celebration regularly draws up to 10,000 people as revellers flock to the Leys to enjoy the festivities.

While the theme is likely to attract several Cinderellas and Big Bad Wolves, plenty of other costumes will be on show during the traditional procession to kick off proceedings.

From then festival-goers can enjoy an array of acts, stalls and refreshments throughout the afternoon in what organising committee chairman Brian Wright calls the town’s ‘premier event’.

He said: “When I first saw it I was knocked over by everyone’s enthusiasm.

“The crowds are four-deep at the busiest parts of the procession and everyone gets behind the day.”

The procession departs from the Leys at 11am and moves along Church Green towards the town centre, with up to 30 floats expected to take part.

Each float is judged as it passes along the route, with prizes awarded for each class of float and individual costumes.

The carnival is set to run from 12.30pm to 5pm, with entry free, and many festival-goers will be heading for the famous donkey derby.

Once of the main attractions of the carnival, the derby gives punters the chance to back their tips in six races before a grand final at the end of the day.

Another popular animal-themed attraction is the carnival dog show as West Oxfordshire’s most impressive canines go head-to-head.

The event draws all types of dogs from pedigree to pets and categories range from most handsome to waggiest tail.

With plenty more on offer there will be no shortage of entertainment, thanks in part to the event’s sponsors who raise £10,000 to help fund the event.

Many of these are local charities and Mr Wright paid tribute to the community spirit shown by the carnival’s supporters.

He said: “We are extremely grateful to all our sponsors without whom the carnival would not be possible.

“But we see it very much as an event for the town and raising money is a very worthwhile aim but it’s secondary to that.”

The event is jointly organised by the local service clubs such as the rotary club and the air training corps, and all profits go back into the community to help local charities.

Temperatures are expected to peak at 27 degrees and while Mr Wright expects the sun to boost attendance, he admits he is worried it may turn people some away.

He said: “We’ve always had great weather but you can get too much of a good thing.”