Leicester Caribbean Carnival

Leicester Caribbean Carnival
Photo: leicestercarnival.com
The English city of Leicester is known for many things, from being the home to the National Space Centre to hosting various festivals and parades, including the Leicester Pride, the Leicester Comedy Festival, the largest Diwali celebration outside of India, and the Leicester Caribbean Carnival.

The Leicester Caribbean Carnival was first organized in 1985 by the local African-Caribbean community. What started as a small community-organized celebration has grown to become the third largest Caribbean carnival in the United Kingdom, after the Leeds West Indian Carnival and the Notting Hill Carnival. The Leicester Caribbean Carnival has been held every year since its inception, except for 2006, when the event was canceled due to a lack of funds.

The carnival has always been a community-driven event that heavily relies on volunteer community support. Its only one employed staff member is the Carnival Coordinator. The Leicester Caribbean Carnival features over a dozen costumed bands and floats, including visiting groups from all over England, and attracts a multicultural audience.

The Leicester Caribbean Carnival is preceded by a week of cultural events, but the main highlight of the Carnival is the traditional parade that takes place on the first Saturday in August. The procession marches through the city center and the suburb of Highfields, culminating in Carnival Village at Victoria Park. The parade is followed by a massive festival in the park, including live entertainment on several stages and funfair.

The Leicester Caribbean Carnival has become an important part of summer in Leicester and a major tourist attraction. Carnival Village offers non-stop entertainment from 11 am to 8pm with the sound of soca, reggae and urban contemporary music, delicious Caribbean cuisine, and fun activities for attendees of all ages.

Leicester Caribbean Carnival

Photo: Jim Monk




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