The organisers of the Manchester Caribbean Carnival have been given permission to hold a one-day ‘celebration of community, heritage and music’ this weekend
Manchester Carnival Together will take over Alexandra Park in Moss Side for the ‘Road to Carnival 50’ event on Saturday 4 September from 1pm to 7pm.
It will kick start the countdown leading to the return of the full-scale Manchester Caribbean Carnival next August, when it will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
This year’s ‘mini’ event will have two live stages hosting musical performances, steel pans, dance, and DJs along with community staples, food and a funfair.
But Manchester Council says it was not feasible for a large parade to take place this year.
Julia Burke, chair and project manager of the Manchester Carnival Together community interest company (CIC), said: “It will be a full day of entertainment for all that aims to bring people together as a community after a long period of isolation, loss of life and tragedy, for a family orientated day of entertainment and activities where people can share a common experience after being separated for so long.”
The CIC had applied to Manchester council for a licence to allow the provision of regulated entertainment and the sale of alcohol from 1pm to 6.30pm on Saturday.
It will also share the same capacity as Manchester Caribbean Carnival, which can host up to 9,999 people.
Concerns had been raised about the impact on a national cycling route which passes through Alexandra Park and the potential for accidents between cyclists and attendees.
But an agreement has been reached that will see a temporary alternative segregated cycle route provided in the park.
Despite the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions on July 19, the Road to Carnival 50 will still follow government guidance – including encouraging those attending to take a free Covid-19 test on the day or the day before.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, deputy leader of Manchester council, said: “It’s wonderful to see events return to our communities after a tough year.
“These events are so important to celebrate the city’s cultures and carnival has been entrenched in Manchester’s calendar for decades – this feels like a real reawakening.
“As ever, carnival will be a family-friendly day but this year slightly smaller to ensure we can keep the event as Covid-19 safe as possible.
“We know this event was sorely missed last year and we’re really looking forward to bringing carnival back to the community.”