Caribbean Carnival of Manchester

Caribbean Carnival of Manchester
The Caribbean Carnival of Manchester is the second-oldest Caribbean carnival in the United Kingdom. It is held every August in Alexandra Park in the Whalley Range district of Manchester, England.

The historical roots of the Caribbean Carnival of Manchester can be traced back to the world’s first Caribbean carnival that took place in Trinidad and Tobago. The traditional pre-Lenten celebration was brought to the Caribbean by European settlers. Originally, black slaves were not allowed to participate in Carnival processions and other festivities alongside their masters.

The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival as we know it today was born thanks to the abolition of slavery. In 1833, the Parliament of the UK officially abolished slavery throughout the British Empire. Black Caribbeans in Trinidad and Tobago celebrated the announcement with a carnival party that featured their traditional song and dance and reflected their culture. Today, Caribbean carnivals are held both throughout the region and in other parts of the world.

The Caribbean Carnival of Manchester was founded in 1972 by a group of Eastern Caribbean immigrants. They threw an impromptu carnival procession through the streets of their neighborhood. What started as a small street party for less then a hundred people has grown to become one of the largest celebrations of Caribbean culture in the UK.

The Manchester Carnival is held over a weekend in August. Its main highlight is the parade that features bands from all over the country. The procession starts and ends at Alexandra Park, but attendees can grab a good viewing point at one of several locations, including Alexandra Road, Chichester Road, Hulme High Street, Quinney Crescent, Great Western Street, Lloyd Street, and Claremont Crescent.

Along with the parade, the program of the Manchester Carnival includes the King, Queen, Prince and Princess Show, soca music and world music, DJ sets, j’ouvert morning, cultural corners, food vendors offering foods from all around the Caribbean, and more. There is also an official Carnival after party.

The president of the Manchester Carnival is Manchester-born actor of Trinidadian descent Chris Bisson, known for his role as Jai Sharma in the soap opera Emmerdale. He raises the profile of the event, supports children in their carnival preparations, attracts new volunteers, and gets involved on carnival weekend.

In 2020, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Caribbean Carnival of Manchester

Photo: Gareth Redston




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