It was an honour to be invited up to a ‘Pop Up Carnival‘ that was taking place in Leeds. This wasn’t any ordinary Pop Up Carnival, this was a carnival which was supporting one of the major sporting events on the Global calendar, the Tour de France.
The Tour de France is one of the world’s biggest annual sporting events. The Grand Depart (the start of the race proceedings) was held in Yorkshire for the first time kicking off from Leeds City Centre before a two stage race across the county. Media from across the world covered the event (120 TV channels broadcasting to a potential global audience of three billion).
Leeds City saw a huge turn out of people (approximately 2 million) who came to witness and revel in the experience of the Tour de France. The event was opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The Pop Up Carnival hit the road at approximately 11:30 soon after all the riders had embarked on their tour, this is when de real bacchanal started ;-).
The spectators who lined the route were friendly, very interested and seemed to really enjoy the Pop Up Carnival. Many were seen waving and dancing along to the soca music.
Having the Pop Up Carnival was a great addition to an already great event. It was a great way to showcase unity within a growing and diverse community.
All I can say is “WE WANT MOR!”
Carnival Founder and Chairman Arthur France said;
“We are delighted that Pop Up Carnival will showcase Leeds as the home of Europe’s first Caribbean Carnival to the thousands attending the Grand Depart and potentially millions watching across the world. This is an amazing opportunity for Leeds Carnival to bring wow factor to the Tour de France and to champion Leeds as the wonderfully diverse and vibrant city we are so proud of.”
Pop Up Carnival Director Susan Pitter said;
“Pop Up Carnival was a triumph of creativity, of sheer hard work, dedication and a love of mas. It was fantastic to see different generations and backgrounds working together to create a true spectacle on a global stage – all in the name of Caribbean Carnival.
It was an incredibly satisfying feeling to see the joy and amazement that we brought to local, national and international visitors at our debut Pop Up
Thirty special costumes were designed by a unique collection of some of the UK’s most renowned carnival costume designers who are also based in Leeds:
- King & Queen costumes by Hughbon Condor
- Prince & Princess costumes by Sheila Howarth and Arthur France
- Band/troupe/floor members costumes by Renata Gordon and Lorina Gumbs
The Tour de France was the first event where the Pop Up Carnival will be seen this year. They also have two other dates where the mas band (Leeds West Indian Carnival) will be Popping Up:
- Scarborough Seafeast – Sat 26th July 2014
- Biggate Leeds – Sat 16th August 2014
Leeds West Indian Carnival Getting Ready
The Pop Up Carnival On The Road
Leed West Indian Carnival Contacts
Carnival HQ: +44 (0)113 307 0001
Facebook: The Official Leeds West Indian Carnival