Caribbean Carnival Calendar
Throughout the year people across the UK can enjoy the delights of the Caribbean in their own local carnival.
Running throughout the summer months Caribbean carnivals are a chance to get involved with your local Caribbean community and immerse yourself in the fantastic music, culture and food on offer. Below is a rundown of some of the carnivals across the country – hopefully there’s one near you!
The Birmingham Caribbean Festival is one we at Island Delight know well, attending for the last three years! We’re taking a year off this time but can confirm it’s a really fantastic experience, giving you the chance to enjoy a real taste of the Caribbean. This year’s festival runs from 18th-20th June and includes a wide range of events from street workshops to dance, poetry and more.
Organised each May, Luton International Carnival is a fun family event set across six sites on both Wardown Park and in the town centre. Local DJs play a wide range of music and there is plenty of exceptional food to get stuck into. The highlight is the procession which leaves the Park early in the afternoon.
This year’s Preston Carnival is organised for 21st June and it began when the Caribbean community in the area organised a simple procession in the streets and has grown considerably since. The King and Queen of the Carnival competition is the highlight of the event and the procession is a fantastic sight to see in the city centre.
Twickenham Carnival is another June event for the whole family. The parade travels down the riverside and comes out at the heart of the Carnival Village on the grounds of Orleans House Gallery. Spectacular costume, vibrant music and tasty food from around the globe can be enjoyed.
On the first Saturday of every July the St. Paul’s Carnival in Bristol attracts up to 100,000 attendees and celebrates African-Caribbean culture. With a masquerade, street sound systems and plenty of stalls with things to buy and food to try, the festival is a huge celebration which has been delighting attendees since 1968.
A traditional carnival procession is at the heart of Acton Carnival with acts including percussion bands and plenty of vibrant handmade costumes to be seen. More than 500 people turned up and enjoyed events in 2014 and even more will be along this coming year.
On 19th and 20th July the Caribbean hits Derby and celebrates in style. The Derby West Indian Community Association work hard to put on a fantastic show with performances in the town’s Market Square and a musical carnival and festival in Osmaston Park.
On 8th and 9th August 2015 the Caribbean Carnival of Manchester takes over the city’s popular Alexandra Park. A Caribbean Carnival has taken place in Manchester for over 40 years and it is considered the North West’s largest celebration of Caribbean music, culture and arts.
Since 1991 the Coventry Caribbean Festival has brought together families from around the area and over the years it has become so popular that it takes place in the large War Memorial Park. With around 4,000 attending in 2014, the festival is bigger than ever and celebrates the vibrant nature of Caribbean culture with music, dramatic theatre and more. The festival takes place towards the end of July.
Known as the Six Town One City Carnival this year’s event will take place on 12th July and is packed full of themed stalls, musicians, theatre shows and performers. Celebrating all the bright and vibrant elements of Caribbean culture, the Six Town One City festival includes costume parades, fantastic food, live music and even a fun fair.
Since 1984 Leicester Caribbean Carnival has provided fantastic entertainment and insight into Caribbean culture in the city. The procession includes troupes of dancers, drummers and magnificent floats with costumes of fantastic design and theme. The calypso beat of the Caribbean has been popular in Leicester since the 80s and it continues to bring out the crowds.
Bringing together the colour and vibrancy of the communities of Brixton, Brixton Splash is a parade led carnival which runs every August, this year on Sunday 2nd. A free street festival with parades, stalls, fresh food and more it’s a vibrant celebration of Brixton society, culture and community, with a wide range of different music styles and cultures celebrated.
The biggest carnival in the whole of Wales, the Cardiff Carnival has been around for over 25 years and is a fantastic colourful celebration of the city and its vibrancy. Carnival art, music and dance takes over the city and many thousands of people get involved every year. Cardiff MAS Carnival usually runs at the beginning of August.