The Open Road Carnival
The carnival that's making a difference...
New Carnival were delighted to support Ports Fest in the development of a Mardi Gras style parade for this year's Ports Fest event. Many local schools and community groups benefited from staff training in costume making, funded costume making sessions, and dance sessions before taking part in the parade itself on Thursday 29th June 2023. New Carnival artists were commissioned to create three stunning phoenixes. The parade was a brilliant success and New Carnival are looking forward to building on it for 2024's event.
Photo credit - Ports Fest
Hat Fair 2023 achieved resounding success despite our funding challenges. The festival once again graced Winchester during the initial weekend of July, drawing in a sizable crowd of approximately 45,000 (attendances) over the two-day span. The city's streets and green spaces buzzed with activity as attendees enjoyed a packed programme of family-friendly circus, dance, music, comedy, theatre and more.
New Carnival were delighted to work with Playmakers to deliver costume design workshops and prototyping for local schools, as well as a community workshop making the fantastic Junk Giant puppet that was a big hit with the crowds in the parade. The grand Hat Fair Carnival, led by The New Carnival Company's enormous Lady Justice puppet and Playmakers' Junk Giant was highlight of the event for many. Accompanied by local schoolchildren in creative costumes, the parade addressed significant topics including environmental concerns under the theme of 'Shout about it!'. The schools were joined by community groups including Blue Apple and St. John's Almshouses.
New Carnival was delighted to work with other local arts and carnival organisations on a project called Waving the Flag. We collaborated with; Ryde Carnival Association, Ryde Arts, and Shademakers UK. The best bit about the project? There were lots of new opportunities for local people to get involved with our carnival. These included community workshops and live events including our main and illuminated processions.
Waving the Flag celebrated, supported and developed Ryde Carnival to make it sustainable into the future.
WHY WAVING THE FLAG?
Waving the Flag has been awarded funding from the Ryde Heritage Action Zone (HAZ), one of more than 60 high streets to receive a share of £6 million for their cultural programme. Grants of up to £120,000 have been awarded to local arts organisations for cultural activity on each high street. This is part of the four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Cultural Programme aims to make our high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.
New Carnival ran several community workshops each year of the project creating costumes and props for Ryde Carnival. In 2023 we worked with the Isle of Wight Asian Cultural Club to create headdresses, belts and butterfly props with flapping wings. We also worked with Keert.Uk to create a Victorian style greenhouse and peacock sculptures that could be mounted on their bike and ridden in the parade.
Photos by Lucy Boynton
What a fantastic busy summer we have had, filled with Carnival and Samba fun thanks to our ‘Railway by the Sea’ project in partnership with VIVA and funded by South Western Railway. So far we have delivered lots of craft workshops and VIVA have delivered many fantastic samba drumming workshops all along the train line, and have worked with over 1000 members of the public, of all ages. There have been fabulous flags, amazing headdresses, and beautiful collaborative pieces made in the craft workshops, and all sorts of rhythms and grooves based on the Island’s coastal railway line. There is still more to come as well! We will be visiting several local schools, care homes and community groups to run Samba Drumming and Carnival Arts workshops and the whole project will culminate in a big celebration at Merry and Bright in Ryde on the 8th and 9th December and Ventnor Day on the 16th December.