Leeds Carnival brings city to a sizzling standstill SLIDESHOW

IT was hot stuff all round as the 41st Leeds Carnival brought the city to a sizzling standstill yesterday.

IT was hot stuff all round as the 41st Leeds Carnival brought the city to a sizzling standstill yesterday.

And while the traffic in much of the city stopped ... the fun just kept on rolling.

An estimated 100,000 people filled Potternewton Park and lined the surrounding streets as the feast of Caribbean fun and flavours returned for another spectacular year.

Good weather over the bank holiday weekend ensured the 2008 party – and the three day build-up leading up to it – was a sun-drenched treat.

As the delicious smells of sizzling jerk chicken and spicy goat curry wafted through the air – and as the rum flowed – an array of reggae-blasting floats prepared the eager crowd for a procession to remember.

And memorable it was.

A magical menagerie of fantastic feathered creations, saucy, sequin-encrusted costumes, booty-shaking dancers, giant purple butterfly-like creatures and soaring magenta and orange birds, it was a feast for the eyes and the soul.

Visitors had travelled from across the country to sample the unique flavour of carnival Leeds style.

Carnival queen Davina Williams – who won her third crown at a ceremony in Millennium Square on Friday – led the parade from Potternewton Park at 2.30pm.

She was joined by Tyrone Henry, the first ever carnival king.

The rainbow parade wound its way out of the park, through Chapeltown, Harehills Lane, Roundhay Road and eventually back to its starting point five hours later.

It was accompanied along the route by cheering, clapping carnival-fans with sunshine smiles as bright as the weather.

Leona Clark, 28, was in high spirits as she enjoyed the pumping beats and spicy treats.

"I love Leeds Carnival," she said.

"I have been coming for 20 years since I was eight-years-old.

"I love the music, the food, the dancing, everything."

Five-month old pug puppy Gromit travelled from Liverpool for his first carnival. Owner Stacey explained: "It's Gromit's first carnival and I think he loves it. We used to live in Leeds so we come back to the carnival every year.

"We just love the community spirit and the music and we enjoy coming back to our roots.

"We had a carnival in Liverpool two weeks ago but it wasn't a patch on this."

Carnival co-ordinator Ian Charles, a founder of the original event in 1967, said the day was all about "fun, family and happy times".

"It was a lovely, lovely day," he said.

"The weather was better than we expected.

"You could tell how well it was going by the number of plates of food being sold."

Leeds Carnival VIDEO: CLICK HERE

100,000 revellers join in SLIDESHOW:CLICK HERE

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