LLANELLI may not be a town built on the scale of Metropolis or have the scale of investment we see in our neighbouring towns and cities but it has something most places yearn for. People with big hearts and a welcoming spirit.
So it was as Llanelli threw open its borders once more at Christmas time, (no razor wire here Mr Trump, just fairy lights) to the hordes of people looking to heal the disappointment of another Christmas Carnival headed West. As we know West is Best right Don? Make Swansea Great Again, look to Llanelli we say.
Photos: Peter A Tully
From the moment one arrived at any of the car parks around the town one was greeted with a festival of colour and noise. As we know, noise usually equals children. But no, there were people of all ages, who had descended on the town to get into the Christmas spirit.
As the carnival parade travelled from Festival fields those good people of Sandy Road did what they do every year and stood outside their homes, cheering and waving and dropping coins in those buckets, which they know will go to local charities.
As the parade hit the West End crowds had gathered 10 deep to get a view of the floats and for most children a view of Santa on his sleigh.
The carnival is very much a two way thing. Thousands turn up to watch but many hundreds of people work behind the scenes for weeks organising their floats, the collections of money and the dreaded health and safety. It is to those people Llanelli owes a huge thank you.
As the floats, marchers and tractors made their way along Church Street they were greeted with crowds of even bigger proportions, which lined both sides of the road and went back as far as Stepney Street. The cacophony of noise colour form the fairground added to the excitement as the parade made its way down Queen Victoria Road to re emerge on Church Street again.
The culmination of this year’s event was a firework display, which was launched from behind the Town Hall. The sky lit up and the sound of oohs and ahhs equalled the whizzes and bangs of the fireworks as children were hoisted onto the shoulders of their parents to get a better view.
Businesses in the town also opened their doors, their staff staying late to make sure those who had braved the cold could at least get a hot cuppa and something to eat. Jenkins cafe was due to close at 8pm but they were open long after that serving people with a smile.
Llanelli should be justly proud of what it achieves every year with the Christmas carnival. Imagine what it would be like without it. As if that were not enough this Saturday sees the return of the annual Reindeer Parade. Once more the people of Llanelli will lift up the barriers and allow the World and its dog into the town to share in our great community spirit.
Photos: Basia Kliza