At Leeds West Indian Carnival 2014 we are busy preparing and finalising exciting new plans for the run up to the big parade on Bank Holiday Monday August 25th.
If you have never been to the Carnival then make sure this is the year that you do – there is an endless amount to do, see, smell, taste…the list goes on! Over the years we have honed our skills in combining the perfect blend of stunning costumes with the most contagious soca and calypso rhythms, tantalising food and an open armed, welcoming atmosphere to bring you something that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Here at Leeds West Indian Carnival we pride ourselves on being Europe’s longest running authentic Caribbean carnival parade. We began in 1967 with a few thousand curious bystanders watching the magic unfurl at the first formally organised, true Caribbean style Carnival procession. Last year the turnout was over 150,000 – our biggest crowd ever.
Every year thousands from all cultures and walks of life from all over the UK, Europe, America and the Caribbean, come to Leeds to watch and take part in the Carnival. Our troupes, costumes and music makers travel from far and wide to take part simply because along with the excitement we welcome everyone with more than a touch of Caribbean warmth – whatever the weather, it’s just a happy day.
This year we want to share our love of all things carnival. Watching the spectacle is great but the best way to experience Leeds West Indian Carnival is to take part. So what are you waiting for? Get involved – and get happy!
Here are your essential Carnival 2014 diary dates.
Leeds Carnival Prince & Princess Show – Sunday 17th August
The Leeds Carnival Prince and Princess 2014 title is once again up for grabs promising to provide plenty of Carnival Cuties and fun entertainment for all the family.
Leeds Carnival King & Queen Show – Friday 22nd August
The annual battle for the prestigious Leeds Carnival King and Queen 2014 titles hots up. There’s a lot at stake in this fiercely fabulous show as the huge, spectacular costumes compete to take the titles and to lead the Carnival Parade on Bank Holiday Monday 25th August.
Calypso Monarch Show – Saturday 23rd August
The Calypso Monarch Show can only mean one thing – Calypso War! Calypsonians perform their own original verses on a topic of their choice – it can be anything from politics and history to news or celebrities and always lots of cheeky innuendo! Definitely one for lovers of great music, lyrics and rhythm.
J’Ouvert Morning – Bank Holiday Monday 25th August 6AM!
This traditional start to Carnival Day is an early morning soca music limbering up session that’s guaranteed to get you up, moving and ready for the Carnival later on in the afternoon. J’Ouvert comes from the French for ‘opening day’. Be prepared for fancy dress, lots of dancing and a huge amount of fun at what we call ‘Pyjama Jamming’ – set your alarm and roll out of bed ready to party!
The BIG Leeds West Indian Carnival Parade Bank Holiday Monday 25th August
This is it, the BIG one – Leeds West Indian Carnival 2014! A day of sensory delight. We defy you not to be moved – feet tapping, hips swaying heads nodding at the very least – by the hypnotic sounds of the Caribbean, sweet pan music and thumping, body-shaking soca music on the floats that will snake their way through the streets of Leeds on our usual parade route leaving Potternewton Park in Leeds 7.
Come hungry and leave wanting more of the simply delicious cuisine available at hundreds of street food stalls in the park selling World Food and of course the unofficial dish of Carnival – jerk chicken (not forgetting the fragrant rice and peas, ‘want more’ dumplings, spicy curries and the famous patty, Jamaica’s equivalent of a spiced up Cornish pasty).
Throw in seriously fabulous creations as our Royal Family – Carnival King, Queen, Prince and Princess costumes are joined by troupes from across the UK in a rainbow of feathers, sparkle and eye-blinking colour, along with fairground rides, the best DJs around in the park and this is one happy happy day guaranteed to be fun for all the family. As usual, just follow our top tip – come early, stake out the best spot, and prepare to be amazed.
So there you have it. Leeds West Indian Carnival 2014 in one big, spicy hot nutshell. We’ll keep you posted in the weeks to come but until then follow us, keep in touch and let us know if you’re ready to get happy.
Leeds West Indian Carnival
PS This year we’ll be popping up in some very unexpected places!