Harrogate could well dance away with Rio’s carnival crown this summer when it stages its own “world party in the park”.
Being held in the Valley Gardens, on Saturday, July 27, Carnival - which is set to match both Notting Hill and Leeds West Indian carnivals in terms of colourful costumes and live entertainment - will have it all – and more!
Featuring street theatre, dancing, food, music, interactive workshops and fun by the float load, this family-friendly day promises to be a true party in every sense of the word!
Carnival is being brought to life through Harrogate Borough Council, and is a unique day for the town as part of a cultural programme to herald the arrival of September’s UCI Road World Cycling Championships, when “Harrogate Welcomes The World”.
This unrivalled one-day spectacular commences with an opening parade bringing an explosion of colour and sound to the streets of the spa town as it announces it is well and truly ready to “welcome the world”!
Organisers, Harrogate International Festivals, has teamed up with some of the best street food suppliers – local favourites and others from further afield - to serve up a fantastic array of fayre from across the world.
If this not enough to get taste buds tingling, this mouth-watering attraction will be complemented by the “Theatre of Food” - a fully-immersive stage offering cooking sessions and inspiring food demonstrations from every continent.
The bandstand - which is playing host to musicians from across Yorkshire throughout the summer - will be the sound stage for an eclectic line-up of DJs and performers guaranteed to get feet not just tapping but wildly moving to hip hop, afrobeat, Latin, Jamaican groove and the irresistibly smooth sounds of the Buena Vista Social Club.
And when it comes to dancing, revellers can turn their feet to learning Egyptian tanoura, Turkish belly dancing or Indian dance!
Harrogate Borough Council chief executive Wallace Sampson said: “A carnival is a celebration, a festival and more over one big party – and that’s what Harrogate will be staging on the last Saturday in July.
“In September we will be ‘welcoming the world’ with the arrival of the UCI Road World Cycling Championships, and we are relishing being at the epi centre of sport’s biggest competition.”
Stanley Lumley, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, said: “Carnival is going to be one day of continuous family-oriented fun and festivities and one that give Rio a run for its money.
“Whilst the cycling will bring in teams from all over the world, our carnival will attract people from all over the north of England. It will be a day not to be missed.
“Additionally, with the parade weaving its way through the town centre, this will be a great opportunity for visitors to see for themselves the quality of independent and chain stores, restaurants and bars that make Harrogate a superb place to eat, drink and shop.”
Harrogate International Festivals’ chief executive Sharon Canavar said: “Carnival Harrogate style promises is to be a diverse event, rich in colours, sounds and flavours from the four quarters of the world.
“It will be the first time not just the Valley Gardens, but Harrogate itself, has staged an event of this nature, and it’s an ambitious event showcasing music, food and dance.
“Think Rio in Rhododendrons, parade in the petunias, sounds in the sun colonnades, food in the flora and dancing in the dahlias, and you will begin to get a taste of what the day holds in store for visitors.
“Carnival is being brought to Harrogate courtesy of Harrogate Borough Council, and we are very much looking forward to staging this world party in our beautiful park.”
Further details about Carnival, including performers and performance times, will be available from the Harrogate International Festivals website at https://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/
"Carnival is going to be one day of continuous family-oriented fun and festivities and one that give Rio a run for its money."
Stanley Lumley, Harrogate Borough Councils cabine
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