This year’s annual arts parade marking the start of the Isle of Wight carnival season will form part of key preparations for next year’s Natwest Island Games, being hosted on the Isle of Wight.
Taking place on Saturday 3 July, in a change to previous years the arts parade, organised by the Isle of Wight Council’s Carnival Learning Centre, will start and finish at Simeon Street Recreation Ground.
The time and route has been changed so that the entire parade can be a dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Natwest Island Games. The Carnival Learning Centre is working with local schools and carnival arts groups to put together a spectacular parade to mark the start of the games next year.
The theme for this year’s parade is Amazing Journeys and forms part of a four year programme leading up to London 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad. Schools and groups have been busy making spectacular costumes which will be used throughout the carnival season.
The Arts Parade promises to be an impressive sight with many variations on the chosen theme. Schools have interpreted this in many ways – from ‘Sails on the Waves’ a celebration of the first circumnavigation of the globe by Ryde High School, to Mayfield Middle School’s portrayal of the journey of a caterpillar into a butterfly.
Also making an appearance at this year’s parade will be the giant white bull, created as part of the Europa project to mark the opening of the UK Centre for Carnival Arts in Luton last year. Europa was inspired by the mythological story of a woman abducted by Zeus, in the form of a tame white bull, and her journey to become the first Queen of Crete. This will be the first time it has appeared on the Island and will form the centrepiece to this year’s parade.
Cllr David Pugh, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council said: “The carnival community has an exciting opportunity to perform as part of the opening ceremony of next year’s Natwest Island Games. This year’s parade is an ideal opportunity to rehearse the route and timings to make sure next year’s parade is one to remember.”
The parade starts at Simeon Recreation Ground at 6pm. It will proceed along the Esplanade, Dover Street, Start Street, Union Street and then back to Simeon Recreation Ground.