Party time! Leicester residents highly anticipate Carnival return

By Thomas Carter

After more than a year of lockdowns, residents of Leicester have finally received some good news following the announcement that the Caribbean Carnival will be returning to the city for summer 2021.

The annual event, which was sadly cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is a vibrant festival celebrating Caribbean culture, with musical acts and vendors taking to the streets of the city, beginning on Saturday, July 31, and lasting throughout the month of August.

First held in 1985, the original idea for the carnival was to promote integration and togetherness within the Caribbean communities in Leicester, and since then the event has grown into a national celebration with an estimated 80,000 people from across the UK coming to join in the festivities every year.

Dennis McCall Jr, a member of the Caribbean community in Leicester and avid Carnival attendee, said: “I’m most looking forward to seeing the Caribbean culture being expressed in its truest form, from the vibrant colours to the music that you cannot resist. 

“My favourite thing about the Carnival period is the homage the costumes pay to our ancestors, as Carnival was a celebration at the end of the sugar crop.”

Festival performers in the streets of Leicester in a previous year’s celebration of Caribbean culture.

Described by the VisitLeicester website as a ‘monumental non-stop party’, the event will feature a host of parade floats, performers, dance troupes and more, allowing people to experience some of the diverse cultures that are unique to the Leicester community.

In addition to this, festival-goers will be able to interact with a range of street vendors selling arts, crafts, and offering tastes of food dishes from around the world.

Dennis added: “I think the carnival further emphasises the diversity of the city. 

“Leicester is known to be one of the most diverse cities in the UK and having the carnival will give the West Indian diaspora the opportunity to showcase their melting pot of cultures to others.”

More information on the Leicester Caribbean Carnival and the full events lineup can be found at: https://www.visitleicester.info/whats-on/leicester-caribbean-carnival-p704821

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