BIG crowds are expected this weekend for 'a great day out' at Otley Carnival.

The 2018 event takes place on Saturday, June 16 and will, in time-honoured tradition, begin with a long and colourful parade through the town.

This year's parade starts from Wharfedale Farmers Auction Mart at 1.15pm and will be led by multi award-winning Otley Bellman Terry Ford.

The procession will include a mixture of floats, walking groups, shire horses (from Thwaites Brewery), bands and vehicles carrying VIPs including the retiring Carnival Queen, Hannah Pears, and her successor, Lily Cullen.

As always, many of the town's schools, charities, youth groups, businesses and voluntary organisations will be involved.

The parade will also feature entertainment from a variety of groups including: the City of Leeds Pipe Band, Otley Brass Band, Otley Ukulele Orchestra, Foxwood Steel Bandits, Belebele, Westgate Cheerleaders and Tewit Youth Band.

Last year's carnival was blessed with scorching summer weather and the organisers are hoping for more of the same this time.

Otley Carnival Press and Publicity Officer Nigel Gill said: "Otley Carnival is one of the biggest events the town holds and brings in vital visitors to Otley.

"This year's, as always, will be a great day out with brilliant floats and displays down at the Carnival Field.

"I hope people can give generously to the street collectors as all proceeds will go to the 2018 beneficiaries.

"Entry to the field is free, as usual, and there will be entertainment all afternoon for the whole family in the arena with displays including Hawkeye Falconry, Footloose Dance Display and Weston Lane Junior Football Club’s demonstration and penalty shootout.

"Around the field visitors will be able to enjoy stalls like Punch and Judy, giant inflatables, donkey rides, children’s fairground rides and charity and commercial stalls.

"There will also be a variety of hot and cold refreshments with something to suit all tastes, plus a baby changing tent."

A team of judges will be evaluating the parade entries and then presenting awards across a range of categories including for Schools, Junior Organisations and Adult Organisations.

Incoming Carnival Queen Lily Cullen, meanwhile, will receive her crown at the Carnival Field from Town Mayor Councillor Mary Vickers.

Proceeds from the day will be shared between Friends of Otley Lido, Otley in Bloom and The Yorkshire Children’s Hospitals 2018 Christmas Gift Appeal.

Carnival programmes are available now from a number of town centre shops and Otley Library, and cost £1.