BACK with a big post-Covid carnival, the packed programme of events for Dawlish Carnival kicks off on Tuesday, August 15, and runs until the grand finale, the community parade on Friday, August 18.

One of the biggest highlights will be a flypast by the historic Spitfire.

The committee says it is ‘thrilled’ to announce it has been successful in bidding for an appearance of the iconic Spitfire in the skies above the town.

The flypast will be Friday, August 18 and is planned for 1.39pm, weather permitting.

A spokesperson said: ‘We are thrilled to announce that we have been successful in bidding for a Spitfire flypast as a special carnival event.’

And this year is the 50th anniversary of the historic Pram Race, thought to be among the oldest in the country.

Carnival spokesman Angie Weatherhead said: ‘We delighted to be carrying on this Dawlish tradition now in its 50th year.

‘We have 17 stops this year on the route including a very special one for the 50th Anniversary which will be at the bottom of Marine Parade.

‘We’d like to thank all the venues who help us on the night and all the volunteer marshals as it’s a big undertaking with lots of fun on the night.’

The major milestone will see competitors in costume using a decorated wheeled pram-type vehicle running a set course around venues in the town.

This year’s theme is musicals and organisers are hoping there will be 50 entries for the 50th anniversary.

The first pram starting this year’s anniversary event will be by the Farley family in recognition of their long involved with Dawlish carnival and a reputation for ‘fantastically-built’ prams.

An archive photo of the front page in the Dawlish Gazette 1972, pictured, was sent to the committee by Wendy Fletcher.

The route will start on the Lawn before heading to the Strand, first to the Gresham, then to South Devon Inn and will take in the Beach Bar, Railway Inn, Anniversary Stop at the bottom of Marine Parade before heading to the Marine Tavern to Teignmouth Inn, Annies Tea Room, Brunswick Arms, Shaftesbury Theatre to the White Hart and Swan Inn, then the British Legion, Lansdowne to the Bowls Club, The Mix then to John’s Cafe to the finish line back on the Lawn.

The race takes place on Tuesday August 15.

Judging starts from 6pm and the race starts at 6.45pm.

There will be prizes for the best dress, fastest male, fastest female and fastest mixed teams.

Another first for this year will be an event to showcase young music talent.

Wednesday’s Live On The Lawn, between 1pm and 5pm, will feature an afternoon of six live acts including Saff Juno, Joyride, Borderline and Ella and Jamie.

A spokesman said: ‘We are proud to be able to showcase some of the local area’s best up and coming musical talent.’

For a rousing final, the week of activities will end with the spectacular community parade.

Angie said: ‘This year is second community parade for Dawlish and we have encouraged as many people to take part as we can.

‘As we said last year, come and join us and be part of the fun.

‘Last year we had great feedback about the community being at the heart of the parade and the response from the community was amazing.

‘The parade will have majorettes, dancers, stilt walkers, the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service Corp of Drums at the front as well as the amazing Spark.’

Programmes will full details of each day of the carnival are on sale around the town and available to download from the Dawlish Celebrate Carnival website.