Leeds West Indian Carnival 2021 to be virtual Legacy Carnival event with some in-person shows

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Leeds West Indian Carnival (LWIC) will take place online this year, as part of a new 'Legacy Carnival' event programme.

The organisers confirmed on Monday, June 7 that Carnival will take place this year as a combination of both virtual and managed physical events.

It comes after last year's Chapeltown based parade was moved entirely online last year.

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Organisers said the decision to host combined events is due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly on people from Black and Asian backgrounds.

Leeds West Indian Carnival Queen Tahiela Odain Hamilton pictured in August 2019. Photo: Simon Hulme.Leeds West Indian Carnival Queen Tahiela Odain Hamilton pictured in August 2019. Photo: Simon Hulme.
Leeds West Indian Carnival Queen Tahiela Odain Hamilton pictured in August 2019. Photo: Simon Hulme.

They also added that the uncertainty surrounding the easing of Covid restrictions on June 21 has impacted designers having the time to design and create their costumes.

Instead, people are being asked to get our their old costumes and 'upcycle' them as part of the Legacy Carnival celebrations.

Chairperson and Founder of LWIC, Dr Arthur France, said: “We are passionate about promoting and protecting our cultural heritage and carnival is the legacy of what our fore parents went through.

"Legacy Carnival here we come.

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"Bring out your old costumes, upcycle them because we’re jamming still!”

The programme for Legacy Carnival is as follows:

Celebration of Emancipation Church Service – Sunday August 1

Carnival Chronicles – Saturday August 14

Prince and Princess Show– Sunday August 22

King and Queen Show – Friday August 27

J’ouvert Morning – Monday August 30

Virtual Carnival Day – Monday August 30

In addition to these events, LWIC is proud to announce the launch of its “Mas Makers” Carnival Volunteers

Vice Chair LWIC, Bernadette Albert, said: “A programme that incorporates training that will be run for a number of committed volunteers to work with and build the Carnival Events Team.

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"This will help grow our capacity and contribute to continuing to build our legacy.

"It is important that we train the next generation of youth about the importance of Carnival; not only because it’s a good time on the road or for a weekend but so that they can learn and in turn teach others about the importance, history and meaning of Carnival.

"This will ensure we protect, preserve and promote our Caribbean heritage and culture in the community.”

Celebrating the Emancipation of Slavery. #Protecting, #Promoting and #Preserving our #cultural #heritage.

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Leeds West Indian Carnival was founded by Dr France in 1967.

It is the celebration of the emancipation of slavery.

It is the oldest and most authentic carnival in England attracting over 150 000 people each year.

The carnival is run entirely by volunteers who specialise in preserving and protecting Caribbean arts, culture and heritage.

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