THIS year it’s going to be big.

That is the pledge from organisers of a Hampshire carnival that has been given an exciting new look in a bid to boost its popularity.

Lymington and Pennington Carnival, a highlight of the area’s social calendar for generations, has traditionally been held on a Saturday.

But this year’s celebration will take place on a Sunday for the first time as part of a drive to draw bigger crowds.

Organisers have also devised a new route for the procession, a new start time and a new family fete that will be staged on the same day.

The July 20 carnival has fiction and fantasy as its main theme and is already attracting a flood of entries.

William Gilpin School, in nearby Pilley, has devised its own version of the Where’s Wally? riddle.

While St George’s nursing home, in Milford on Sea, will pay homage to Carry on Matron, the 1972 comedy film starring Sid James and Hattie Jacques.

The carnival will form part of a “sizzling summer of fun” that also includes a classic car show at Woodside Park on August 3.

Both events are being staged by Lymington and Brockenhurst Lions Club, which has gone into partnership with Colten Care, owners of the new Linden House care home in New Street, Lymington.

Carnival boss Mish Frampton said: “We’ve already had lots of support from local businesses and organisations. This year it’s going to be big.

“We are really excited about our new partnership with Colten Care.

“Gaining a headline sponsor that’s synonymous with Lymington is a huge boost to energising the whole event.

“The people of Lymington and surrounding areas are very passionate about their beautiful town’s past and present. This year everyone will come together to create a fun-filled day for all to enjoy.”

Organisations supporting the new-look celebration include Something About Lymington Town (SALT).

A spokesman said: “In recent years the carnival hasn’t quite been what many were expecting. Mish has spent the past few months working hard to deliver a carnival that will impress us all.”

Tim Wookey, Colten Care’s marketing director, described the company’s association with the carnival and car show as a “natural fit”.

He added: “While we’ve expanded across Hampshire, Dorset and south Wiltshire, Lymington is where our company began and so it’s right to support the community here in our heartland.

“It’s all about building relationships and supporting local causes while ensuring the town has a sizzling summer of fun.”

Changes at a glance

  • A new start time – 11am instead of early evening.
  • A new circular route around the town, making the event more accessible and more walkable for children.
  • A new family fete at Lymington Sports Ground.
  • New judging categories designed to appeal to a wider range of entrants.
  • A pre-carnival ball at the Stanwell House Hotel, Lymington, on July 12.
  • A new website –