ONE OF the Hampshire's biggest carnivals has been saved after an upsurge in support for the event.

Just two weeks after warning that this year’s Totton Carnival would be axed unless 60 road marshals came forward, organisers have revealed that the parade will take place on June 16 as planned.

The threat that had been hanging over the event has been lifted after scores of volunteers answered an urgent plea for help.

The carnival is one of Totton’s biggest spectacles, with thousands of locals lining the streets to watch the floats make their way from Calmore Industrial Estate to Eling Recreation Ground.

But this year’s celebration was almost called off after it was hit by a shortage of money and manpower.

Writing on social media earlier this month members of the carnival committee said: “The carnival is going ahead if we can get at least 60 volunteers to marshal the road closures. If no volunteers then this will be cancelled.”

However, organisers have now confirmed that the huge crowd-pleaser has been saved.

A carnival spokeswoman said: “We’ve found a main sponsor, we have more help on the committee and funding is starting to come through.

“We’ve probably got about 40 marshals. We still need another 20 but we still have more than two-and-a-half months to go.”

Asked how close the carnival had come to being axed she said: “Very close - we were going to pull the plug.”

The threat posed by what was then a serious shortage of manpower was revealed two weeks ago.

Organisers warned that even if the carnival went ahead the route would have to be cut by almost two miles, with floats leaving from the civic centre car park, but the procession will begin from Calmore as usual.

Totton councillor Len Harris said: "We were thinking of running a shorter carnival than normal but things are looking better.

"We have enough people to handle the road closures and we're in a better financial position than we were before, but we still need volunteers."

Fellow councillor David Harrison added: "I think we should pay tribute to the small band of volunteer organisers who who so hard to keep the carnival going.

"I know that they really struggle at times, with a lack of other volunteers.

"There are a lot of people required to do things like marshalling and assist with security to make sure all goes ahead in a safe manner.

"The carnival is one of those events that brings the whole community together and is particularly enjoyed by children, parents and grandparents. Let's hope that this year's event is rewarded with good weather."