CARNIVAL season has well and truly exploded after the streets of Askam and Ireleth were filled with vibrant colours and irresistable beats on Saturday.

At just past noon, Askam Carnival filled the air with the noise of drummers, bagpipes and children’s laughter to a tune similar to that of Rio de Janeiro.

Starting on Parklands Drive, party parades, floats and the Carnival Queen, Leah McMullen - along with her lady-in-waiting Indianna Foxon and two princesses Maisy Walker and River Johnson - set off with a spring in their step, despite the gloomy weather.

Carnival committee chair, Laura Tomkins said: “The whole show has gone really well.

"There was a bit of rain, so for safety reasons we had to reduce the parade.

"So we didn't have the dancers throughout the float show, but the atmosphere was still electric.

"We only have a team of seven volunteer committee members to organise this carnival and parade.

"But Askam's people have been brilliant and shown real support, both emotionally and financially, for what we're trying to achieve for the community.

"That's what it's all about - this big community event is used to inject spirit and keep that togetherness going for many years to come."

After the parade arrived at the finish line, at Duddon Sports and Social Club, the new Carnival Queen, Miss McMullen, was coronated.

Queen McMullen is a pupil at Dowdales School and has Cerebral Palsy, but this does not hold her back, as she is determined to live life to the full.

She also hopes her appointment as Carnival Queen will encourage other mixed-ability children to try out for the honoured role next year.

And the fun did not stop there as the carnival's gala began.

Dance troops coming from all corners of the South Lakes region dressed in their most outlandish dance outfits as the event got into full swing.

Mrs Tomkins added: "Profits made from today will be donated to local community groups and schools to fund youth projects.

"Others set to benefit from any profits will be groups such as scouts, girl guides and Duddon Inshore Rescue, and many more."

The next carnival will be held at noon in the neighbouring town of Dalton on Saturday.