Get ready for this year’s Margate Carnival

Margate Carnival

By Dan Thompson

Margate biggest and most popular arts event returns on August 6, when the annual Margate Carnival takes over the streets between Palm Bay and Westbrook.

Each year, dozens of local youth clubs, dance schools, drama companies, and other societies gather for a procession which has its roots in Lord Sanger’s circus parades through the town over 120 years ago.

The celebration of the local community is organised by a small group, led by Jack Packman, who have gradually changed the carnival over the last ten years to keep it relevant and contemporary.

Working with Great British Carnival, they have built strong links with London’s carnival companies, like Croydon Steel Band which joins this year’s procession. They have also trained local artists and  developed new skills in local people. The focus of work this year has been on helping entrants make a bigger splash, with bolder floats and more imaginative costumes.

Turner Contemporary is running workshops inspired by its current exhibition of paintings by Beatriz Milhazes, and the Dreamland Trust is making sure the connection to Margate’s past is celebrated.

Margate Carnival takes place on the afternoon of Sunday 6th August with a 2.30pm start at Palm Bay. Crowds always line the street waiting for the procession, and this year Selina Margate on Eastern Esplanade is planning a carnival party with DJs during the day.

Offcumduns Border Morris will entertain waiting crowds between Turner Contemporary and the Clocktower. And there will be an after show party at Silvers on Margate’s High Street.

Photo Frank Leppard

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