Leeds West Indian Carnival moves annual parade and celebrations online

The popular Leeds Carnival would have been taking place this year, brightening up the streets of Chapeltown with its annual parade.

Monday, 24th August 2020, 2:06 pm
Updated Monday, 24th August 2020, 2:08 pm

This year however, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organisers have moved the festival from Potternewton Park to the online world.

People in Leeds and across the country will be able to come together to celebrate the Caribbean by joining in the virtual event.

It is a two day event and tickets can be purchased online.

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Queen Tahiela Odain Hamilton pictured at the The West Indian Carnival, Chapeltown on 26th August 2019. Picture by Simon Hulme

Day one is all about the children and young people and will take place on Sunday, August 30.

It will look back on the last 10 years of Carnival Prince and Princesses as well as the Kings and Queens.

-> Why we should channel the carnival spirit to unite in fight against coronavirus - Laura Collins, YEP EditorPeople will be encouraged to "dance online in your front rooms, bedrooms, kitchen, gardens and patios" and get into the Carnival spirit.

Day two will take place on Bank Holiday Monday.

Aaliyah Mohamed, the Reginald Centre Princess. 26th August 2019. Picture by Simon Hulme

It will have live DJs, online performers and quizzes and prizes.

The event description reads: "Masqueraders jump and wave for Carnival day! Join us online for a day that brings the spirit of the J’ouvert morning and and the road parade online.

"We will have various troupes and individuals participating in carnival celebrations online, live DJ sets, online performers, photographic displays, video clips of past road parade, quizzes and prize giveaways.

"Make room, make way the virtual bacchanal is on its way."

Leeds Carnival is the longest running authentic Caribbean carnival parade in Europe.

It was founded in 1967 by Dr Arthur France to celebrate Caribbean culture and heritage.

It is held annually on the last Monday of August.

It attracts 150,000 spectators from all over the UK and is hugely popular.

Sadly, the organisers had to cancel the 2020 celebrations due to the pandemic.

At the time, Arthur France, Chairman and Founder of Leeds West Indian Carnival said “We have never been in this situation before but can assure you that we are here to support everyone involved in carnival from our designers to the local community.

"We want everyone to stay safe and look after our elders and the most vulnerable within our community following the government guidelines.”

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said “We continue to follow national guidance around managing the impact of Coronavirus in Leeds.

"Decisions on individual events going ahead will be guided and made on this basis, and at an appropriate time in terms of when they are scheduled to take place.”

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Thank you

Laura Collins