Thousands poured into the streets of Luton (Sunday, 25th May) to enjoy an incredible day of free family entertainment at Luton International Carnival 2014.
After months of hard work and preparation, the town burst into life as carnival atmosphere swept over everyone involved.
Six sound sites across Wardown Park and the town centre gave people plenty to dance to, with a host of local DJs spinning plenty to get people moving, from Salsa songs to bass heavy Drum n Bass beats.
Many who visited Wardown Park simply could not resist the temptation of grabbing a bite to eat, with food from all around the world giving the area a delicious aroma! Never had it been so easy for people to take a culinary tour of the world’s best food.
Of course though, the highlight of the entire day was the enormous procession which left Wardown Park at 1.30pm.
Over 1,000 people made up the parade sporting unique and incredible costumes featuring everything from sweet jars to 15-feet tall sun queens on show. This year’s epic costumes, dance and live music demonstrated how designers, makers, musicians and dancers work together to push the boundaries of artistic excellence and performance skills.
Luton’s Sainsbury’s branch in Bury Park generously donated water for the carnival participants, ensuring they were refreshed as they made their way around.
Each group stopped at the Ramp Stage in St George’s Square to give a performance to the carnival judges and thousands of onlookers, with many of their acrobatic and rhythmic routines drawing gasps of excitement and cheers from the watching crowd.
Clary Salandy, Associate Artistic Director at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts, said: “Absolutely everyone who saw the parade today got an incredible experience. I was amazed at many of the costumes and by the tremendous effort made by everyone to bring the spirit of carnival to life.
“Most of all, I am so impressed with the warmth and togetherness displayed by all of the different communities. It is a quality of which we should all be proud.
“Luton International Carnival has a bright future. We have some hugely talented artists involved already but we want more! Next year, come and get involved! Design a costume, make it or take part. The Carnival is a big part of the town and we want our communities to get involved.”
More than 30 groups took part in this year’s carnival procession, with 20 of them coming from Luton and the others being unique acts from national carnival arts organisations from all over the country. Local carnival groups were joined by schools that had spent weeks learning all about carnival arts and charities including Samaritans and Keech Hospice Care.
Lisa Marie Trump, Chief Executive of the UK Centre for Carnival Arts, said: “This year’s carnival featured a really good mix of local groups and new national carnival acts which have never been seen here in Luton before. Carnival really is for everyone – our youngest participant is just two-years old!
“Carnival day is a day where people from all backgrounds come together and enjoy themselves. Seeing carnival arts putting smiles on everybody’s faces today was very special, and I would like to thank everybody who put in so much work to make the day so amazing.”
UK Centre for Carnival Arts:
The UK Centre for Carnival Arts is unique in being the only dedicated National body representing Carnival arts throughout the United Kingdom. An arts organisation and charity, we promote excellence within the field of Carnival arts in all its professional forms – from costume, music and dance to circus, multi-media and site-specific street arts.
For more information visit UK Centre for Carnival Arts