After a couple of years hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Manchester’s Caribbean Carnival will celebrate 50 years next week with a huge, triumphant return to Alexandra Park.
Now at half a century old, the carnival will also commemorate 60 years of Jamaican Independence at the two-day family friendly free event that will bring together the community through music, dance and food.
There’s no local festival quite like it, and this year it’s back restriction free, which means the return of the parade and musical performances. Kicking off the festivities early morning at 7am on the 13th August is the J’ouvert, which will then be followed by the main parade at midday.
This year’s special celebration will be a nod to highlighting the city’s diverse, international culture, with a theme of ‘Unity’ at the heart for its momentous 50th year.
The event will take over Alexandra Park from 12pm – 8pm, converting it into a paradise of bright colours, fantastic live performances and incredible food from local traders. This celebration of Caribbean culture is always one of Manchester’s summer highlights.
Dancehall fans will also be thrilled with the announcement of headliner, Serani who rose to fame in 2010 with track ‘No Games’, which became a huge hit and subsequently peaked at number 3 in the US Reggae Charts.
Julia Burke, Chair and Project Manager for the Manchester Carnival Together Committee (CIC) said: “We’re really excited to be able to bring our first full-scale Carnival event as a committee back to the heart of the Afro-Caribbean community of Manchester in August this year.
“We’re looking forward to the return of the parade and want to encourage as many people as possible to take part. The parade will be an array of music, colour, dance and heritage in tribute to the years of carnival history and all are welcome to join the procession that will begin its journey from the park.”
The carnival began as an impromptu parade set up by locals in the diverse Manchester district of Moss Side, many of which were of Trinidadian and St Kitts & Nevis origin. Since the early 70s, communities have continued to come together to celebrate and unite the people of the city through heritage and solidarity.
Over the years, the carnival has grown exponentially, and is now regarded as one of the best in the UK with thousands of people flocking to the area to party every year and immerse themselves in traditional African and Caribbean culture.
Find out how to get involved with this year’s festivities below.
Manchester Caribbean Festival
Date: 13th & 14th August
Time: 12pm – 8pm
Venue: Alexandra Park