Leeds West Indian Carnival 2017

by - Thursday, August 31, 2017

As September arrives and we say our goodbyes to another summer, I thought I'd share a couple of pictures from Leeds West Indian Carnival, despite their less than perfect quality. 

Now in it's 50th year, it's a huge August bank holiday celebration that celebrates the BME community in a massive parade that is totally inclusive to all races, ethnicities, ages and genders. Decked out in feathers, lame and all the colours imaginable, the festival committee parade the streets in elaborate constumes that they've spent the year working tirelessly on, making a cacophony of noise with whistles, shouts and of course, a killer soundtrack of reggae, dancehall and afrobeat.

Growing bigger with each year, there was definitely an amazing vibe of solidarity and joy at this year's event - with all thats going on politically and socially in the world, it felt more important than ever to gather in a field, show defiance and ultimately, all get along with one another. Just people, out in the sunshine, enjoying a drink and a dance and being with friends. If they're like me, they may have also enjoyed a deliciously greasy saltfish fritter and one of the best Beef patties I've ever eaten. It's hard not to be inspired by the amount of work that goes into the day, or swept along with the carefree attitudes of the beautiful black women (and men) who dress so amazingly. Perhaps I best start working on my own costume for 2018...

For more thoughts on the carnival and other ways to support black culture in Leeds, check out my article for Leeds Confidential here - http://confidentials.com/leeds/5-ways-to-celebrate-black-culture-in-leeds?id=59a53a817a4fb

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