Carnival set for a truly tropical summer in Leeds

Pop Up Carnival Queen Dominique Maynard and the Leeds City Council guide to events. PIC: Leeds City Council
Pop Up Carnival Queen Dominique Maynard and the Leeds City Council guide to events. PIC: Leeds City Council
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Yorkshire is set for a tropical summer as Leeds West Indian Carnival announces a series of pop up carnivals.

Europe’s longest running authentic Caribbean carnival parade will bring the wow factor to unexpected places, debuting at the Grand Depart of the Tour de France on July 5 as millions around the world watch the world’s biggest annual sporting event.

Costumes have been designed by a unique collaboration of some of the UK’s most renowned carnival costume designers who are also based in Leeds. Set to lively carnival rhythms the spectacular Peace, Love and Unity themed designs will remain secret until their first showing in a mini procession which will leave the Grand Depart start line on Victoria Gardens, immediately after the race starts.

Carnival founder and chairman Arthur France said: “We are delighted that pop up carnival will showcase Leeds as the home of Europe’s first Caribbean carnival to the thousands attending the Grand Depart and potentially millions watching. This is an amazing opportunity for us to bring wow factor to the Tour de France and to champion Leeds as the wonderfully diverse and vibrant city we are so proud of.”

The design team is working around the clock with feathers, gems, beads and sequins to construct the glittering King, Queen, prince, princess and troupe creations which will also be showcased along the Yorkshire coast on July 26 at Scarborough Seafest and on August 16 at city centre Briggate.

Costume designer Sheila Howarth said: “It will take the sights and the sounds of the Caribbean to audiences who may not be familiar with the joy that carnival brings to Leeds.”

Details at and on Twitter @CarnivalLeeds using #popupcarnival.

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