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Join the Biosphere Island Mardi Gras celebration

On Saturday June 29 from 3pm, more than 1000 participants will take to the streets of Ryde for New Carnival Company’s (NCC) spectacular IW Mardi Gras. The local Biosphere Island theme celebrates the Isle of Wight’s new status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The news received last week from UNESCO HQ in Paris, was the culmination of three years campaigning by the IW Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (IW AONB) which this year’s Mardi Gras and last years theme have supported. Everyone is invited to watch this colourful parade filled with music and dance, and join the party to celebrate everything that make our incredible Island so special. 

Participating local schools and community groups have been working under headings including wildlife, landscape and recreation, with schools selecting subjects they can link to the National curriculum. All have been partnered with a local heritage, cultural or environmental organisation such as Dinosaur Isle, Wight Squirrels, Dimbola Lodge Museum or The Shipwreck Centre to learn about their topic from the experts, and receive support and information to inspire their creative costume designs.

IW Mardi Gras is recognised as one of the leading carnival models in the UK for its school engagement, education program and promotion of creativity, and organisers NCC have also been providing the groups with guidance and workshops throughout the project.

Frankie Goldspink, creative director at NCC, said, “Everyone has been working hard to create a parade that celebrates the best the Island has to offer. Schools, community groups and partner organisations have been really embracing the concept of Biosphere, and getting everyone to feel a part of it. We can’t wait to showcase this creativity to the public on 29 June.”

This vibrant parade will be representing the many elements that make our beautiful Island unique, from wall lizards and fossils to Carisbrooke Castle and Parkhurst Forest. The NCC’s 2019 Mardi Gras work is supported by IW AONB, Arts Council England,  East Wight Landscape Partnership ‘Down to the Coast’ and Ryde Town Council.

Find out who is taking part and the line up for the parade by clicking here

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