Carnival 2018 A Huge Success

Carnival a Huge Success

Sunday’s Cowley Road Carnival has been declared a huge success by organisers as crowds of around 50,000 celebrated in the sunshine.

Micaela Tuckwell, Executive Director of Cowley Road Works, the charity behind the event said:

“Today has been a terrific success. Glorious weather, a fantastic procession with some of the most amazing costumes and structures. Our theme was ‘icons of art’ and we had at least two Headington sharks – Oxford’s own icon of art – with another Oxford icon, the Mini, one transformed by the pupils at Chilworth House School, the other by the apprentices at the MINI plant. There was Picasso and Frida Kahlo as well.”  The 1/2-mile-long procession involved around 700 people in 30 groups including some from London, Milton Keynes and Gloucestershire.

Micaela added: “The Carnival is a huge celebration of the diversity in our community – and groups represented in the procession included folk dancers from Jerusalem, as well as the Kurdish, Indonesian, Nepalese, West Papuan, Nigerian communities. With many more represented by individuals in the schools, samba bands, drummers, dancers and other groups.”

Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxford, Sajjad Malik agreed: “It is so good to be here. In a city which is so diverse, the Carnival brings people together from all backgrounds and you get to speak to people you wouldn’t get to speak to under normal circumstances.

“1 would like to thank the sponsors and organisers who every year put on a great show and bring it all together.”

Richard Venables, High Sheriff of Oxfordshire said: “It’s amazing. The colour, noise, sun and to see the community enjoy themselves and have a fantastic day.”

“We had great crowds at the disco in the car park behind Tesco, as well as our family area at Dingley Dell where we had story-telling, the Discovery zone at the Church of St Mary & St John and the Global Dance Stage, programmed by Dancin’ Oxford.  Claire Thompson of Dancin’ Oxford said: “It is fantastic to see dance groups from old around the world. Got 20 dance groups performing with dances of all ages. Some who have been performing at Carnival for years and some new for the first time this year.”

Thank you to Koroush Khorshidfar and Lesley Murray for the photographs

Steve Wrelton, spokesman for the MINI Plant said: “It has been such a fantastic feel-good project for our team to be involved with. Huge thanks to Andrew Manson (Mani) and Simon Tipping for their invaluable support along the way.

“For us to showcase our apprentices right at the heart of the community is a real privilege.”

Kampung Indonesia

The Indonesian Village (Kampung Indonesia) in the Restore Car Park hosted a programme of activities which included Gamelan performance and workshops, language workshops, costumes, martial arts demonstrations and lots of delicious food.

The area is sponsored by the Indonesian Embassy. Adam Tugio from the Indonesian Embassy has been coming to Carnival since 2015.  He said: “I really enjoy this Carnival.  The public can participate in workshops – both language and traditional music – as well as taste Indonesian cuisine.”

Photograph by Koroush Khorshidfar

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes are long-term supporters and sponsors of carnival.

They had a great day at their zone in Manzil Way. Andrea Siret, Head of Alumni and Community Engagement at the University said: “Oxford Brookes University are proud to sponsor Cowley Road Carnival and support this fantastic event. It provides a great platform to showcase Brookes and our local links with the community. It is always a delight to see staff, students, alumni and the local community come together, and it is a pleasure to be part of such a vibrant and diverse event.”

Thanks to our Volunteers

A massive great shout out of thanks to the scores of volunteers who helped us make Carnival Day such a brilliant, well-managed and organised event. They helped us to create signs, set up, manage stalls, steward, fundraise, provide information, handle stage management, photograph and film, and then clear up and break down at the end of the day.  They are blooming marvellous, and we couldn’t do it without you.

Volunteer Paul Fisher was at Carnival for the first time. He works in customer service for John Lewis and the organisation has supported two members of staff as volunteers. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience “It is my first time at Carnival and there has been a great atmosphere. I am a convert. I will be back.”

This year teams of estate agents were challenged to see who could fundraise the most on the day, spearheaded by Carnival trustee Mark Crampton-Smith and director of College & County.  ” A big thank you to College & County, Breckon & Breckon, Scott Fraser and Nicholas Jones.