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A Taste of Brazil at this Year’s Mardi Gras in Ryde!

Forget the football, turn off the telly, come on down to the New Carnival Company’s annual Mardi Gras event and experience samba, costume, colour, dance and music on Saturday 28 June.

To celebrate the World Cup and forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio, The New Carnival Company has arranged for special guests The London School of Samba to appear in the parade. They will be presenting drummers and traditional costumes including ‘Passistas’ the iconic feathered and bikinied dancers typically associated with Rio Carnival. Local Island dancers working with The New Carnival Company will also be given the opportunity to learn the moves and join the parade in costume with the London Samba School.

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The line-up for this year’s Mardi Gras parade is the biggest in the event’s 10 year history with over 750 adults, children and young people representing 25 schools and community groups taking part and displaying their fabulous costume creations in the parade.

Frankie Goldspink, Participation and Learning Manager for the New Carnival Company explained “Each year the Mardi Gras takes an educational theme to encourage schools in particular to embrace Carnival in the Curriculum and give a depth to learning, discovery and creativity. This year’s theme is Natural Geographic, so visitors can expect to see geography, geology, environmental science, people and places like they’ve never seen before!” Sections on display will include Haylands Primary School’s ‘Polar Ice Cap’, Cowes Primary School’s ‘Northern Lights’ and creatures from the ‘Galapagos Islands’ from Priory School, Whippingham.

The New Company’s Mardi Gras Mascot – The Boeuf Gras (or fattened bull) inspired by the New Orleans tradition – will lead the parade again, ridden by our new REX, King of Carnival, elected every year, who distributes ‘favours’ of Mardi Gras beads to members of the crowd. You will need to impress him by clapping or cheering as he rides by!

The Parade leaves Ryde School, Queens Road at about 3pm, heading for High Street, Union Street and The Esplanade, arriving 4.30pm approximately.

Mardi Gras magic unfolds at Eastern Esplanade Gardens throughout the afternoon. With a specially commissioned live Cultural Music Stage featuring a mix of carnival and music acts including the RASPO Steel Band Ensemble, popular local artist Derek Sandy and headline act The Lutenant’s, top Soca (calypso) duo from London. The stage opens at 12 noon and the event also features an Arts & Crafts Marquee, beer tent and a BBQ.

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For more information on The IW Mardi Gras contact Chris Slann, The NCC on 716095.


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