In just a few days Leicester city centre will be filled with the sounds, sights and smells of the Caribbean.
That’s right – Leicester Caribbean Carnival is back for 2019
This years theme for Carnival 2018 “it’s a Latino Fiesta” which focuses on the cultural traditions of the Spanish and Portuguese speaking Countries of Central and South America, The Caribbean and Europe.
Floats will be flying the flag for South and Central American and Caribbean countries such as Brazil, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
Traditional costumes and music from the nations will be showcased across the event, which takes place on the first Saturday of August every year.
At least 15 groups from Leicester and the rest of the UK are set to participate, with each choosing a different nation to represent.
Juliette Brade, co-ordinator of Leicester Caribbean Carnival, says she hopes the theme will help people learn more about the Latin aspect of Caribbean culture.
Juliette commented: “Every year we focus on something different for the Carnival. This year we chose a ‘Latino Fiesta’ theme which focuses on the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean.
“We are always looking to represent different countries. Leicester is a multicultural city, so we decided to look at the Latin aspect of it so people can learn about their neighbors from those cultures.
“Each year it’s a learning experience for not just the people taking part, but the spectators too.
“The whole idea is for youngsters to learn more about the world, and for the public to be aware of other cultures and understand them better.”
So what do you need to know ahead of the big day?
Scroll down for everything you need to know about Leicester Caribbean Carnival 2018.
What is Leicester Caribbean Carnival?
Founded in 1985, Leicester Caribbean Carnival is an annual event that celebrates Caribbean culture with a riot of colour and music.
It is estimated that 80,000 follow the parade route through the city center, making it one of the largest multicultural events in the Midlands.
The carnival is part of The East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network, which sees cities including Northampton, Leicester, Derby and Nottingham Caribbean Carnivals working in collaboration with one another.
When is it?
Leicester Caribbean Carnival will take place on Saturday 4 August 2018.
Where is it?
Victoria Park will act as the main hub of the carnival, and will host the Carnival Village.
The street carnival parade will depart from Victoria Park before making its way through the city centre and back to the park for the final performances.
The route from Victoria Park will include London Road, Burleys Way, Charles Street, Granby Street (where there will be a stop), Northampton Street, Charles Street and back up London Road into the park.
What is the schedule for the day?
The schedule for Leicester Caribbean Carnival 2017 will be as follows:
11:00am – Carnival Village opens to the public
12.30pm – The official Carnival opening ceremony with the Lord Mayor will take place
1.00pm – The Street Carnival will depart from Victoria Park towards the city centre
8.00pm – Carnival Village closes
What is the Carnival Village?
The main hub of the festival, Carnival Village, will be hosting live entertainment from a number of stages.
Different stages will feature genres like soca, reggae, and urban contemporary music.
Local artists will be performing throughout the day, as well as popular international acts including Aba Shanti-I.
Dance troupes from the parade will then gather for a dance-off finale with first, second and third prizes to be won.
Stalls selling food and drink will be dotted around the village.
Expect Caribbean favourites like jerk chicken, curry goat and rum punch.
There will also be a Kid’s Zone with a funfair and other activities suitable for the little ones.
What is the Carnival Day Parade?
The Carnival Day Parade will see a number 18 floats featuring costumed bands moving their way through the city.
One of the floats is coming all the way from the Bahamas – Junkanoo Commandos, a masquerade band who wear colourful costumes made of paper and cardboard, and play drums.
Attendees can either stay in one place to watch the procession pass or follow it on the route back to the park.
Will the event be ticketed?
Entry into the Carnival Village will be ticketed.
Tickets are on sale online at www.leicestercarnival.com/shop
Adult tickets will cost £4 for Fast Track Access Online and £4 on the gate.
Children aged 5-11 will cost £1 in advance and on the day.
Those ages under 5s, and over 60 with photo ID go free.
The carnival will be broadcast live on Eva FM and BBC Radio Leicester.
The Caribbean Carnival Facebook page will be also updated throughout the carnival so people can see what’s happening.
(Source: Leicester Mercury)