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Crossing the Bar full of colour and carnival spirit!

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The New Carnival Company was delighted with its first Crossing the Bar three-day event last weekend. Walking, art Installations, performance and community participation all came together under blue skies in a joyous celebration of the Island’s rich and diverse coastal landscapes.

The event was the first of a 3-year programme leading to 2023, designated ‘Year of the Coast’ and introducing the England Coast Path, our new National Trail. When completed, the Trail, at just under 3000 miles, will form the longest single waymarked foot path anywhere in the world.

New Carnival Company (NCC) artists and volunteers led 13 walks around selected coastal locations, as part of the IW Walking Festival. The walks linked specially commissioned creative interventions with other points of interest in the natural or built environment. 276 people joined the walks which ranged from 2miles to 8.5miles in length. The walks took place around Wootton, Bembridge, Niton, Brighstone, Totland and along the Medina Estuary.

In the run up to the event, children in six local schools* worked with NCC artists to design and make about 200 handheld flags for the project – all inspired by the nature and heritage around them. Over 75 performers from Isle of Wight College, Samphire Dance group, TheatreTrain, FaT Samba and Wootton Primary School created site-specific entertainments. 15 adult volunteers made decorations and creative installations for along the way.

Frankie Goldspink, Creative Director of The New Carnival Company said:

‘It’s been great fun, but ultimately we want to make sure that the Isle of Wight is well placed on the national radar for Year of the Coast Festival 2023. We already enjoy special status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and over half of the Island’s coastline lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), including two stretches of Heritage Coastline. We have an awful lot to shout about!’

IW AONB are among the event supporters, as are the IW Ramblers and Visit Isle of Wight. Frankie added:

‘It’s been a great partnership and we are looking forward to building this engaging event over the next two years. Our goal for 2023 is to animate the whole coastline of the Island and to provide walking experiences ranging from 1mile to 85 miles! (the latter maybe not all in one day!). Please do get in touch if you would like to get involved’.

Frankie@thenewcarnivalcompany.com   01983 716095

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