The Leicester Caribbean Carnival Day is always celebrated at Victoria Park on the first Saturday of August, to commemorate the anniversary of the emancipation from slavery, although the pre-Carnival events are usually held a week before the actual Carnival Day. This biggest Caribbean carnival is always a spectacular occasion, bursting with music, dance, masks and costumes, visitors of all ages and backgrounds join in to celebrate in true Afro-Caribbean style.
Since its inception in 1985 as an event to keep Caribbean cultural traditions alive the Leicester Caribbean Carnival has become a multicultural celebration depicting the varied cultures represented in Leicester.
The Leicester Caribbean Carnival is the "Art on the Move" and people say there's no better place than to see it in Victoria Park. Festivities kick off with the Carnival parade, which starts and ends at Victoria Park and is followed by a mix of entertainments. It is there the stalls, amusements and other forms of entertainment come from. The Carnival usually has its set route, although there have been alterations to the parade circuit on six occasions. There are usually guidelines provided for persons and groups planning to participate in the procession.
The capturing Leicester caribbean Carnival Queen contest as well as choosing Prince, Princess and Carnival Mama is a grand show of costumes extravaganza. The Carnival Queen contest is judged on the contenders' promotional speech, costume and their question and answer session as they vie to be the Queen of Carnival.
The Visitors to the Leicester Caribbean Carnival are able to experience a spectrum of modern Afro-Caribbean forms - a modern idealization - supporting the co-existence of several masquerade traditions. The real nuances of the Carnival are best deployed during intense moments of recognition by spectators along the route: so called bows, curtseys, minuets, even breaking-ranks to extend informal handshakes. This "hands on" experience of the performance as huge costumes and legendary folklore characters dance dramatically through the crowds is the culmination of excitement and joy as the Carnival unfolds. It's also a point where visitors free their spirit and engage in ancient moves and dance as they watch the procession go by.
Whenever The Leicester Caribbean Carnival takes place, you find a universe in motion where high-spirited masqueraders, fueled by infectious rhythms, perform a joyful ritual of song and dance. The carnival allows the revelers to abandon their worries and celebrate the human spirit. At the same time, individuals from all walks of life are enable to come together to laugh, sing, dance, and celebrate with each other.
To some, carnivals remind ancient pagan orgies modernized while others view them as events rich in cultural heritage and traditions. In either case, the Leicester Caribbean Carnival is something worth seeing. Join the 90 thousand plus people who come year after year to see the largest multi-cultural event.