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The Tempest forces Shakespeare Mardi Gras off the road.

Saturday’s long awaited Mardi Gras was pulled at short notice on Saturday due to horrific weather conditions which posed a serious safety hazard to the event.

As over 800 young people, their teachers and parents, gathered at Ryde School to get ready for the parade, the heavens opened, the thunder clashed and lightening struck all around. It was to continue throughout the afternoon leaving the streets of Ryde running with water.

Chris Slann, Executive Director of the New Carnival Company, organisers of the event, said  “We had been monitoring the forecasts and were aware that there were showers around, but no one expected the ferocity of the violent electric storms that followed. The decision to abort was taken in full consultation with the group leaders during an emergency meeting on site. The health and safety of our performers is paramount to the Mardi Gras and it was simply not safe to proceed with the parade in those conditions”.

Frankie Goldspink, Creative Director for NCC added  “The children were heartbroken. They had been working on their Mardi Gras entries since January and Saturday was to be the big finale event they had all been so looking forward to. We are already working hard to organise another date, although it is unlikely this will be a street event, due to complex logistics around road closures and planning.  We aim to make an announcement about this in the next few days, so watch this space.”

The New Carnival Company has already announced the date and theme for next year’s Mardi Gras. It will take place on Saturday 24 June 2017 and will be a celebration of India to mark the 70th Anniversary of Independence.

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