St Pauls Carnival organisers promise ‘legendary comeback’ with 100,000 expected to take part

St Pauls Carnival is set for a ‘legendary’ comeback this year.St Pauls Carnival is set for a ‘legendary’ comeback this year.
St Pauls Carnival is set for a ‘legendary’ comeback this year. | St Pauls Carnival
This year’s event will see the first full carnival day since 2019 with more than 100,000 people expected to take part

Bristol’s storied St Pauls Carnival will make a ‘legendary’ comeback this year as its marks the Windrush 75th anniversary and passing of Roy Hackett MBE.

This year’s event will see the first full carnival day since 2019 with more than 100,000 people expected to take part in the celebrations in the heart of St Pauls on July 1. A ‘learning from legends’ theme will feature across a series of fringe events held from June 22 including a memorial to Bristol Bus Boycott activist and Carnival forefather, Roy Hackett MBE.

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“We’re well underway with our planning for the return of Carnival after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic,” Carnival director, LaToyah McAllister-Jones told Bristol World.

“This year was always going to be a big one but is all the more important as we celebrate the lives and contributions so many people have made to carnival. Since it began, Carnival has played a central and active role in challenging the status quo and this year’s celebration will be an important one for us all to acknowledge the challenges those who have gone before us have faced in blazing a trail to ensure African Caribbean culture is preserved and celebrated.

“Although many will see this year’s event as a return, as an organisation we have maintained community celebrations, albeit on a smaller scale over, the last three years. Our education programme has continued as well as our traditional elder’s brunch as part of last year’s Back A Yard programme and before that Spirit Up.”

This year will be the first full St Pauls Carnival for chair, Levi Roots, who was appointed during the pandemic in 2021. Commenting on the plans for this year he said: “I am really excited about seeing Carnival back in full technicolour on the streets of Bristol.

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“While we have continued our work in the last few years through smaller-scale events I am looking forward to seeing Carnival come to life under the Learning from Legends theme to mark such a historic year in many ways.

“As a fundraising organisation, our focus remains on securing support from sponsors and the public. We were delighted to have secured the Arts Council funding for the next three years but there is still much work to do in meeting the cost of delivering the full celebration that people know and love. Thank you to all our sponsors and supporters who have already pledged support.”

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