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The Butetown Carnival community Picnic

Good news for anyone missing this year’s Butetown carnival, you will be able to join a celebration outside the Wales Millennium centre’s iconic overhang where you’ll listen to live music, dance, chat and soak up the carnival atmosphere.

 

The Butetown carnival normally takes place on the August Bank Holiday each year, but along with most events this year, it was cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s carnival will now go ahead, albeit in a slightly different format due to the Coronavirus pandemic and social distancing measures, but it promises to be just as vibrant and spectacular as any other year. The theme for 2020 is change. Recent upheavals have given local artists more time to reflect and opportunities to do things slightly differently. In doing so, they have created some incredible costumes.

You’ll notice the costumes are also larger this year too – a deliberate choice, for people to see the parade from further away in case of social distancing measures. Each character has its own quirks and personality traits – some are good, some are playful, and some are just plain evil but there’s plenty of symbolism sewn into each one.

The new condensed event will take place on the 20th September outside the Wale Millennium Centre and will be free of charge. There will be three 90 minute sittings (30 people in each) outside from: 2pm – 3.30pm, 4pm – 5.30pm and 6pm – 7.30pm.

This event is in partnership with Food Cardiff, Food for Life Get Togethers, Fareshare and all of the lovely communities who have given their time during lockdown to make this happen.You will also be able to enjoy a delicious Caribbean inspired feast prepared by Geraldine Trotman and Ayaisha Griffiths. This is the first event in the Good Food Cardiff Autumn Festival programme: a city-wide celebration of communities growing, cooking and sharing good food. The food has been developed with sustainability in mind. We’ve used the Fareshare scheme so the menus have been developed around what is available to them so they’re not able able to provide an alternative menu on this occasion.

 

“Butetown Carnival is iconic in the history of our community: and an exemplar in the history of multicultural Wales.

“The origins of carnival go back to the earlier part of the 20th Century, when seamen from Africa, the West Indies and elsewhere led impromptu performances and processions in the streets during celebratory occasions.

“This inspired a tradition of cultural and social activities that led to the formation of an annual carnival in the 1970’s which was popular with both the local community and visitors from across the city and beyond.

“During its heyday in the 1980’s, carnival attracted daily audiences of more than 20,000 at a time when the community consisted of little more than 4000 people.

“Since its ‘rebirth’ in 2014, Butetown Carnival has once more become an established annual event, producing seven increasingly successful carnivals including an award-winning production for the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay.

With full support from Arts Council of Wales and our regular’s partners at the Centre, Carnival 2020 was shaping up to be our biggest to date and the next step in confirming their status as the Carnival of Wales.”

Everyone is welcome (any age) to join the celebration, but organisers are asking that anyone interested only book tickets for those you live with or those you are in a ‘bubble’. and are still encouraging everyone to come in costume or make a headdress.

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