Leyton Carnival yesterday welcomed just over 17,000 visitors across the day to the grounds of Leyton Cricket Ground to enjoy the start of the summer in temperatures of up to 30°C.
The festivities kicked off with a colourful carnival parade celebrating cultures of the world, with spectacular floats and costumes created by local schools and community groups. Working with Clary Salandy of the award-winning Mahogany Group, schools taking part included: Buxton School with a Jamaica themed float; Aztec inspired costumes from Oak Hill Primary and Thorp Hall Primary; Mayville primary school’s parade was inspired by tropical fish; while Riverly Primary and Willow Brook focused on the theme of protest, with costumes inspired by the centenary of women’s suffrage. Also taking part were Emmanuel Community School, Mission Grove, Leaders Academy and Family Community Culture.
Riverly Primary was awarded a prize for best costume and performance, while school teacher Marcia Clarke was recognised with a Cultural Commitment award for long standing commitment to the carnival. The judges commented that they were incredibly impressed by the high standard from all of the schools and groups taking part in the parade.
Entertainment throughout the day at Leyton Cricket Ground included live music from 1980s funk icons Shakatak, Heatwave, 9 piece ska & reggae band The Dualers, and Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band. Walthamstow based Red Imp Comedy Club hosted their debut comedy tent, with shows for kids and families throughout the day. The event also saw the launch of the Art Road Show, a travelling exhibition of community art submitted by budding artists from Waltham Forest and beyond. Curated by Mehraj Arts and the William Morris Gallery Young Curators, the exhibition will be on show at all of this summer’s Get Together events.
Cllr Paul Douglas, Junior Cabinet Member for Culture, said: “It was a pleasure to be here today as the Leyton Carnival got our summer events programme off to a flying start. With great music, comedy performances and a colourful carnival parade it was the perfect way to enjoy the hot weather with friends, family and loved ones. It’s just the beginning of a summer of fun here in Waltham Forest as we get ready to become London’s first Borough of Culture in 2019. If this weekend is anything to go by it’s going to be a year to remember!”
The Leyton Carnival is the first of six major ‘Get Together’ community events to be held around Waltham Forest this year including the Walthamstow Garden Party, Waltham Forest Mela, Chingfest, Leytonstone Street Fest and Fireworks Night.
Walthamstow Garden Party
The Walthamstow Garden Party, taking place this weekend on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July in Walthamstow’s Lloyd Park, will feature will feature international musicians from across the globe including Seun Kuti, Fatoumata Diawara, Adrian Sherwood & Creation Rebel.
Across the weekend there will be performances from local arts organisations including Waltham Forest community dance group MovE17, workshops with Blackhorse Workshop and Create London, and a ‘Fellowship Island’ zone curated by local businesses.
As we approach our year as Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019, visitors to the Walthamstow Garden Party will be able to find out information about how they can get involved in the year, from volunteering to creative participation.