You don’t have to visit the Caribbean to experience a taste of it – we have a booming Carnival scene right here in the UK! Here are some amazing Caribbean carnivals in the UK to anticipate in 2018.
Caribbean Carnival of Manchester http://themanchestercarnival.com/
Where? Alexandra Park, Manchester
When? 11th - 12th August 2018
The Caribbean Carnival of Manchester kicks off this year with parades, great food, and live performances from up-and-coming artists such as Tabitha Jade, Torino Jackson, and Jasmine. The carnival follows a route around the city centre and ends up back at Alexandra Park, so sensible footwear is advisable.
There are a variety of stalls selling all kinds of Caribbean cuisine and you can expect to have an absolute ball. Better yet, the event is free! Donations are welcome to help fund the event next year.
Nottingham Carnival http://emccan.org/nottingham-carnival/
Where? Victoria Embankment, Nottingham
When? 12th August 2018
Nottingham Carnival is a bustling event that includes a community-led carnival parade with hundreds of colourful costumes and energetic dancing along the riverside. It will also feature the ever popular Carnival Village where you will find music stages, workshops, stalls and even a large funfair.
The event is almost entirely run on the support of volunteers, so donations are much appreciated but not compulsory.
Leeds Carnival http://www.leedscarnival.co.uk/
Where? Potternewton Park, Leeds
When? 27th August 2018
Leeds Carnival is Europe’s longest-running authentic Caribbean parade. The day starts off with some early morning soca music, or ‘J’Ouvert’, which will get you in the mood for the parade later on.
The impressive carnival is full of jaw-dropping costumes and contagious tropical rhythms that slowly make their way down the streets of Leeds. However, if you’d rather not follow the parade, then Potternewton Park will have many stalls selling delicious street food and drink, as well as some quirky and unusual arts and crafts. There are even rides for children, too.
The carnival is a free event with donations hugely appreciated.
Notting Hill Carnival https://www.thelondonnottinghillcarnival.com/
Where? Notting Hill, London
When? 25th – 27th August 2018
The Notting Hill Carnival is Europe's biggest street festival. 2 million people come to the event each year on average, and so you can expect a truly spectacular party. The carnival features a parade and fantastic live music, including reggae, dub and salsa. There are also 37 static sound systems, soca floats, steel bands and a whole lot of delicious Caribbean food.
Like the rest of the carnivals on this list, Notting Hill is free, so come and join the party!
Hackney Carnival https://hackney.gov.uk/carnival
Where? Queensbridge Road, London
When? 9th September 2018
Expect spectacular costumes, energetic dance, sound systems and live music from around the world. More than 23 carnival and community groups will join residents in celebration of Hackney’s amazing cultures and fabulous creativity. Come on down to see the entire borough turn into a mini Caribbean paradise for one fantastic day.
There will be a kid’s play area in Gillett Square and another in Hackney Town Hall Square from 12-4pm, so you are more than welcome to bring children.
Hackney carnival is also free, but donations are appreciated.