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It’s Mardi Gras Time!

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On Saturday 1st July, Ryde will be jam-packed with colour, sound and infectious energy as the annual Isle of Wight Mardi Gras parade takes to the streets.

Reflections of India – the theme for this year’s parade – celebrates 70 years of India’s Independence from British Rule, in line with National celebrations – UK-India, Year of Culture, being led by the British Council.

The New Carnival Company, who present the Mardi Gras every year, predict that this year’s parade will be one of the most colourful to date. Frankie Goldspink, Creative Director explains “the India theme has really caught the imagination of people across the Island. Expect vibrant colours, beautiful fabrics and lots of sparkle”.

The Parade will feature carnival entries from 34 different schools and community groups, depicting spectacular costumes and designs inspired by the likes of Taj Mahal, Bollywood, Diwali and more. It also features ten special entries from groups participating in a Heritage Lottery Funded scheme, which investigated the Island’s relationship to India through Queen Victoria’s time as Empress of India whilst she was resident at Osborne House.

The all-pedestrian parade of over 700 performers, mainly children and young people, will dance its way from Ryde School in Queens Road to Esplanade starting at 3pm. The children have been practicing their dance moves, many of them inspired by classical Indian dance forms fused with a contemporary carnival twist.

There will be a massive Sing-out before the parade leaves, with 1000 voices presenting this year’s Mardi Gras anthem ‘Colour and Chaos’, specially written for the event by pupils from Ryde Academy and Christ the King College. Spectators can join in the catchy song as it is played through the streets on parade as part of an Indian inspired sound track.

The route is Queens Road to Newport Street, High Street, Union Street, finishing at Eastern Gardens on Esplanade at approximately 4.30-5pm

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