The team behind the world-famous Leeds West Indian Carnival is ensuring Harrogate’s very own version this weekend will be anything but a pale imitation.
Founder Arthur France MBE has been working closely with Harrogate International Festivals staff to ensure their Carnival – taking place this Saturday – will be the most spectacular and colourful free family party the spa town has ever seen.
Featuring a wide range of entertainment including street theatre, dancing, food, music, and interactive workshops, the day promises fun by the float load.
The Carnival is based in the Valley Gardens, but officially starts with a large opening parade featuring ensembles from around the world, in addition to some cheeky street entertainment popping up across various town centre locations.
In the build up to the day, visitors will be able to enjoy free workshops in the Valley Gardens for children from Wednesday through to Friday, from Animated Objects from 10am-noon and 12.30-2.30pm, as well as “Saurus” who will be launching the Carnival on Friday night around the town centre!
Carnival is being brought to life through a commission from Harrogate Borough Council and is a unique day for the town and wider District as part of a cultural programme to herald the arrival of September’s UCI Road World Cycling Championships, when “Harrogate Welcomes the World”.
The funding to deliver this event is from the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool, and has been allotted specifically to support cultural activities whilst the global spotlight is on the region.
Harrogate International Festivals’ chief executive Sharon Canavar said: “This Saturday, Harrogate will be become the party capital of the county when it “Welcomes the World” in true Carnival style.
“And to ensure it lives up to its name, we have been drawing inspiration from Arthur France and the Leeds West Indian Carnival team, as well as tapping into their wealth of experience.
“Harrogate’s known for many fabulous things but being a hotbed of multiculturism isn’t one of them. For one day at least, it will become a melting pot of different cultures bringing with it a dazzling array of colourful costumes, fantastic food, marvellous music and more dancing than you can shake a stick at.”
Arthur France MBE said: “We are delighted to assist the Harrogate International Festivals’ team in the planning for their Carnival, which I know is going to be a fantastic day of fun, laughter, music, food and dance.
“Our experience comes from 52 years of staging Leeds West Indian Carnival, which over the decades has established itself as one of the biggest and best street parties of its kind in the whole of Europe.
“Harrogate’s Carnival is going to be something the town has never seen before. We’re really looking forward to Saturday – after all, who doesn’t love a party?”
Leeds Carnival takes place on Monday, August 26. For more information please visit http://www.leedscarnival.co.uk/
Further information is available from the Harrogate International Festivals’ website: https://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/
"We are delighted to assist the Harrogate International Festivals team in the planning for their Carnival, which I know is going to be a fantastic day of fun, laughter, music, food and dance."
Arthur France MBE
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