CROWDS lined the streets to cheer on teams dressed in wacky costumes as they raced around eight pubs in the annual Whitchurch Pub Race.

A total of 31 teams, made up of nearly 200 people, took part in the popular event which pulls in the pounds for a good cause and sees the pints being pulled.

Starting from the Prince Regent at 3.30pm on May 25, the new Mayor of Whitchurch Councillor Mike Kean set off the first team – Kiss Fist, who, dressed as Elvises, entertained the crowds with a specially choreographed dance routine.

The rest of the teams followed, downing half a pint before walking or running the route with encouragement from spectators.

Residents sat outside in their gardens to enjoy the spectacle as teams made their way along Lynch Hill Park towards the next stop.

Passers-by donated their spare change to collection buckets carried by each team, to raise money for the Whitchurch Festival Association, which organised the event.

A pub stop was set up at the railway station, to represent the former Railway Inn, which was knocked down in 2010. From there, participants made their way to The Bell, followed by the Kings Arms and the Whitchurch Silk Mill.

In the town centre, teams were greeted by cheers from hundreds of spectators lining the streets, who marvelled at the creative costumes on show.

Team Thrill Seekers, who took first place for their fancy dress, were popular with the crowds – wearing outfits made to look like a theme park ride, complete with fake legs dangling down in front.

Team Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends might not have been in it to win it, but their impressive Thomas on wheels was the centre of attention as the team members pushed it around the entire course. Their efforts were rewarded when they achieved second place in the fancy dress category.

Other fancy dress outfits included chimney sweeps, a group dressed in animal onesies, Rainbow characters, daisies and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – with Snow White sporting a beard!

From the Silk Mill participants made their way to Longmeadow Sports and Social Club, followed by The White Hart, before finishing at The Red House, where outside entertainment was provided in the form of music and a hog roast.

Awards were presented to the winning teams later on in the evening, with trophies given out to the fastest team around the course, the best fancy dress and most money raised, which went to the Beer City Rollers.

Rob Dunlop, who helps to organise the event, said it raised more than £4,000.

He added: “The money goes back to the Whitchurch Festival Association to fund future community events, such as the fireworks.

“There was a good turn-out and the atmosphere was brilliant.

“We would like to thank all the venues around the town – they put a lot of effort in.”