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The Biggest IW Mardi Gras Ever! Saturday 25 June, Ryde

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The New Carnival Company has announced the line-up for this year’s Shakespeare–themed parade with a record-breaking 34 entries.  The parade, which features mainly schools and community groups, will be entirely made up with Shakespeare-inspired entries, depicting famous Plays, Quotations and Sayings. The parade commemorates the 400 Anniversary of the death of the Bard.

The annual parade will form up in the grounds of Ryde School and will proceed, from 3pm, along Queens Road and Newport Street to High Street, Union Street and Esplanade. The Mardi Gras atmosphere continues at Eastern Garden with Trinidadian MC Mr Coco P and reggae entertainer Taff, from 5 to 7pm.

More than 750 children and young people will be taking part, in costumes they have designed and created themselves. It is a unique feature of the New Carnival Company’s Mardi Gras that participants research and understand their themes before using that knowledge to design appropriate outfits. As such the IW Mardi Gras has become the most extensive carnival-in-education programme in the country.

Visitors will also enjoy a taste of the Caribbean in the parade, with over 70 carnival performers and organisers travelling to Ryde from the East Midlands to take part. Also in keeping with the Shakespeare theme, they will be presenting 50 high-energy dancers in Jester costumes, a 15ft-high Cleopatra (pictured) and huge puppets, depicting the faces of tragedy and comedy.

Based in Derby, the East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network (EMCCAN) comprises performers from Derby, Nottingham, Leicester and Northampton and is touring to carnivals around the country, thanks to £76,000 Arts Council funding.

Donna Fox, of EMCCAN, said: “The East Midlands has a long tradition of Caribbean carnivals — Derby celebrated 40 years last year. “This is our first tour and everybody is very excited about visiting the Island. We are very interested in the work the New Carnival Company does with schools. It is inspiring, a model of good practice,” said Donna.

Frankie Goldspink, Creative Director of The New Carnival Company said “the Mardi Gras parade is a home-grown blend of traditional English, South American and Caribbean carnival styles with a twist of real Mardi Gras from New Orleans. We shall be distributing Mardi Gras beads to the crowd as we go along, but you will have to demonstrate a real carnival spirit to be rewarded!”

NCC 2016 MardiGras Parade Order

NCC 2016 MardiGras Parade Map

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