What is the Leicester Caribbean Carnival?
The Leicester Caribbean Carnival is an annual celebration that has been held since 1985 in Leicester. This festival celebrates Caribbean culture with an explosion of color and traditional Caribbean music such as soca, reggae, and urban music.
This carnival has the peculiarity of having two main events simultaneously, one of them is the handicrafts and souvenir market that begins to be placed from early in the morning and the second is the great parade that crosses the city with colorful costumes and Caribbean music. In addition, the Leicester carnival has a lot of smaller events that happen in parallel, such as the different music stations and presentations. Likewise, a small amusement park is installed and activities are held for children.
Leicester Carnival is a long-awaited celebration due to the tradition and significance for the Caribbean communities of the country. Every day it grows more and more, sharing an annual party with more than 80,000 visitors.
When is the Leicester Caribbean Carnival?
The celebrations generally take place on the first Saturday of August, in the center of the city. The parade goes through the city and different activities take place simultaneously. The Leicester Caribbean Carnival will be held around July 31.
History of the Caribbean Carnivals of Leicester
In 1984 the commemoration of 150 years of emancipation from slavery in the Caribbean was celebrated. However, there was no commemorative event in the town of Leicester to celebrate the much-acclaimed event. As a result, different members of the Caribbean community in Leicester decided to come together as to introduce the idea of a carnival to the city. This is how the first Caribbean Carnival would take place in the city on the first Saturday in August since 1985. In 1993 the carnival name was changed to Leicester Caribbean Carnival Limited.
Leicester’s first Caribbean Carnival was held in August 1985 with the help of several young people from the same city and was initially funded through community aid and other fundraising activities. The city council and the councilmen of that time helped to collect and elaborate the scenographic aspects, as well as a significant sum of money. In this way, the first carnival was held, which had been a success.
Since then, the carnival has seen significant growth over the years. Since its inception it has focused on topics that allow participants to prepare for their presentations on Carnival Day. The Leicester Caribbean Carnival has been able to host a celebration every year with the exception of 2006, when it was unable to raise enough funds to host the event.
Where is the Leicester Caribbean Carnival?
The Leicester Caribbean Carnivals take place in the city of Leicester, UK. The carnival has functions at the Carnival Village in Victoria Park, however there is a parade through the city.
How is the Leicester Caribbean Carnival Celebrated?
Much of the carnival entertainment takes place in the Carnival Village. There, different events are held or developed simultaneously, including live concerts by different local and regional artists. There are also performances by Soca and other distinctive Caribbean music genres.
The Carinval Village also has a small amusement park, a parade and activities for the children of the city. This place has 5 stages or points of interest, one of them is the main stage with live music. In the other scenarios or points of interest occur different presentations of DJ’s or several artists invited. Usually are installed section vendors where you can find many articles and souvenirs.
The parade is the most anticipated of the day is when the streets are filled with a colorful crowd and full of rhythm. The streets of Leicester witness the thousands of people dancing, singing and celebrating the carnivals. The great carnival parade has the participation of different groups that give their best to achieve the best possible entertainment. Marching bands and musical cars roam the streets to brighten up every corner of the city with their catchy and colorful rhythms.
Tips for going to the Leicester Caribbean Carnivals
If you want to attend the carnivals, we recommend that you actively participate in the parties; Dare to participate and be part of one of the most important events in the city, dancing to the rhythm of Caribbean music. As usual, we remind you that it is always better to plan your trip in advance, prepare your travel itinerary and book your accommodation so that you cannot miss out on these incredible celebrations.
Events at Leicester Caribbean Carnival
The events begin early in the morning with the registration of the vendors who will be located in the Carinval Village. After this, the bands and floats are prepared to go to the carnival parade. Around 11 a.m., the Carnival Village opens so that people can enter and enjoy the different activities that take place on the premises, from live music, the souvenir and handicraft vendors, the amusement park and many other events that occur simultaneously. At noon there is a music presentation and Opening ceremony at the city gates to kick off the long-awaited parade.
The parade begins at 1pm, going through the streets of Leicester and filling them with color and Caribbean rhythm. Here all participants can see the great manifestation of the Caribbean spirit that celebrates the history and battles of their ancestors.
After the parade, the activities take place on the main stage, the parade returns to the streets of Leicester to close with a flourish and ignite the festivities in the streets of the city and finally the celebration ends.