Margate Carnival and partners Great British Carnival will be recognising the 75th anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush in the UK at this weekend’s parade.
The vessel carried 1027 passengers and two stowaways on the first voyage from Jamaica to London in 1948 as Commonwealth citizens were encouraged to come to fill jobs as bus drivers and nurses and other jobs where there were labour shortages.
The parade will also offer a flavour of South America with fantastic creations, dancing and drumming.
A carnival spokesperson said: “We know our local participating groups are pulling out all the stops to put on a fabulous display and we also have some dazzling guests. This year, Margate Carnival will provide the most spectacular display from around the world, for all to enjoy.
“Mahogany Carnival Club, led by internationally renowned designer Clary Salandy, are veterans of Notting Hill Carnival and regular guests at Margate Carnival. In recognition of the 75th anniversary of Windrush we have asked them to bring a selection of the costumes they designed specifically to mark Windrush 75.
“Look out for; ‘Making Waves’ beautiful costumes of the Windrush itself crossing the ocean; fish and coral costumes reflecting the Caribbean origins and a gleaming gold costume, signifying the economic contribution made by the Windrush generation.”
Thanet-based Great British Carnival has also been exploring all things Latin American. They have been running Carnival workshops at Turner Contemporary inspired by the current exhibition ’Maresias’ by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes. They have been involved with the making of seahorses, fish, and wave headdresses and giving workshops in Samba Reggae dancing and drumming for the community presentation.
Saturday will have workshops led by Somas Chibchas Arts teaching the Mapale, one of Colombia’s most important traditional dances representing rebellion, resistance and freedom; Mask making led by Venezuelan artist, Elizabeth Salazar exploring ecofeminism, indigenous knowledge and decolonial ecologies; and Wiphalas across the World will lead a painting of the Wiphala, an emblem of the Andes that represents unity and diversity among indigenous people.
Sunday, August 6 will bring it all together in a kaleidoscope of colour, costume and dance as the parade takes to the street with a 2.30pm start at Palm Bay and a route going past Turner Contemporary and along the seafront.