MAYOR’S WEEK: 2 – 8 JULY 2023

MAYOR’S WEEK: 2 – 8 JULY 2023

Changing Face of Worcester Carnival

The Worcester Carnival stretches back at least a hundred years. The carnival was for many years the highlight of the city’s calendar until it came to an end in the 1990s. I know those carnivals are warmly remembered by many. Who can forget the Ronkswood Girl’s ‘Bouzouki’ Band?

After several attempts to resurrect the carnival, the current team finally oversaw a successful return in 2017, and I’m pleased to see it grow every year since.  Despite a hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID, the last two year’s events have seen thousands of residents and visitors turn out to make the most successful carnivals yet.

At the official opening last Saturday, it was an honour as Mayor to thank the organisers – they do a massive amount of work that often goes unseen.

Worcester Carnival has been changing. It’s great to see the thought and values that the organisers have applied to the planning of this modernised event. They’ve embraced inclusion by ensuring the carnival involves the breadth of Worcester community and I’m pleased to see a much bigger environmental theme by including lots of walking, dancing and cycling into the carnival.

It’s also great to see the traditional role of “Carnival Monarch” being developed. Gone is the outdated 1970s style beauty Queen. Instead, we now have two people chosen. They chose for themselves between being the Carnival Ambassador, the Queen or Carnival King. Rhianna Levi and Danny Taylor-Edwards will be this year’s Carnival Queen and King for the coming year promoting good causes.

The team behind the Worcester Carnival are pioneers in creating a platform for diverse community voices. In a herculean feat of cooperation, they created three hand-propelled vehicles that were constructed for the Carnival by 101 Creation Space, decorated by Spare Room Arts, working with The Monday Night Club, the Worcester Afro-Caribbean Association and Honeywell Primary School.

Thank you to the organisers, everyone doing the stalls and everyone taking part in the parade – you were amazing!


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