CARNIVALS are synonymous with the summer.

From bright, vibrant colours to uplifting music and dancing, it's a special occasion and something for the whole family to enjoy - the embodiment of community spirit.

On and off, Colchester Carnival has been taking place for decades.

This year's much-loved parade has been put on hold due to the pandemic but we've had a delve into the archives to bring you pictures from yesteryear.

The carnival returned to the town last year after a break since 2016.

For six years up to 2016, it had been run by Colchester Round Table and Colchester Ladies' Circle.

Halstead Gazette:

Picture: Alf Jefferies

When they decided to take a break, the town's firefighters stepped in to bring the event back to Colchester.

Together with some of the previous organisers and other individuals with business and events experience, they joined forces to form the new Colchester Carnival committee.

Traditionally, the carnival was held in July but last year the firefighters decided to move it outside the summer holidays and opted for September instead.

The guiding principles of the committee are to create a fun-filled carnival full of sound, colour and activity, involving as many people representing a cross section of the community, to reflect the best things about living and working in Colchester.

Halstead Gazette:

It encourages everyone to participate, regardless of age and regardless of whether they are a business, club, organisation, school or community group.

All profits are donated to charitable and worthwhile causes, whether that be from sponsorship or bucket collections on the day.

Have you taken part in the town's carnival or been among the crowds?

Or perhaps you've participated in other carnivals from across north Essex, like the popular Clacton event.

If so, we'd love to hear your stories and see your pictures.

Halstead Gazette:

Halstead Gazette:

Halstead Gazette:

Halstead Gazette: