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Mansfield Carnival prepares to take flight

Get ready for an uplifting day of joy and endless fun at Mansfield’s carnival extravaganza next month.

The free midsummer event to celebrate inclusivity and diversity in Mansfield community will be held in the town centre on Saturday 22 June from 11am to 4pm - and the hunt is still on for performers.

Mansfield Carnival was held for the first time last year when it marked the 75th anniversary of the first Windrush arrivals from the Caribbean to the UK on 22 June 1948. This year, its theme is "Take Flight”, inspired by the opening of the Mansfield Museum's brand new exhibition, A World of Birds.

Exotic bird costumes will feature as visitors and participants are invited to embark on a journey to explore the diversity, beauty, and wonder of feathered friends from every corner of the globe.

The main stage in the Market Place will have over 15 acts performing throughout the day, headlined by Afrobeats singer songwriter Gambino Akuboy. Gambino will be bringing to Mansfield his infectious lively party atmosphere set which helped him reach the semi-finals of this year's Britain’s Got Talent on ITV.

James Biddlestone, the council’s Head of People and Transformation, said: “Last year’s event was a carnival of joyous inclusion, education and awareness and it resulted in one of the highest amounts of town centre footfall on a single day for the entire year.

“We are expecting thousands again this year from far and wide for what promises to be yet another a fantastic family day out in Mansfield.”

Last year’s carnival MC, Charmaine Daley, from Zumba with Charm in Nottingham, returns by popular demand to host the event which has been sponsored by Matthews and Tannert, a council partner in housing improvements and repairs.

The management team from the company, said: "As a local, family run business, we are delighted and proud to be supporting such a fantastic, inclusive and creative event. It will be an unforgettable day!" 

The stage line-up includes The Tiger’s Eye cabaret and burlesque group, belly dancer Janet Rose, who is returning for her second year. Also performing will be local community groups.

The Carnival will have a second stage at Buttercross just beside Mansfield Library, celebrating 500 years of black British music.

The ‘Beyond the Baseline’ stage is being sponsored by Inspire Libraries and will have a line-up of at least 10 acts, including The Mighty Jamma, who is the National Steel Band Soloist Championship of Great Britain. Aunty Ange and her traditional Caribbean costumes will also take the spotlight along with a variety of local solo artists with diverse musical backgrounds. 

Performers of black British music are still being urged to apply for a slot on this stage. To apply visit: https://www.mansfield.gov.uk/museum/downloads/download/12/mansfield-carnival-2024.

The Buttercross area will feature two face painters who will be doing free cultural and vibrant designs. Nearby, in Westgate, visitors will find an international food court, including Nigerian, Greek, Caribbean and English options, as well as a bar with Caribbean style cocktails.

The Carnival Parade from the library, along Westgate, will involve six amazing singing and dancing troupes this year who will be performing their show-stopping choreographies on the main stage from 1.30pm until 3pm.

Among them will be a troupe from Mansfield who are back for a second time. Organiser Maria Slack said: “Mansfield Carnival Dance Troupe is not just a performance group but a community builder. They bring the Mansfield community together through their dance classes and costume workshops.

“Their unique feature is the hand-made carnival costumes, which are crafted with meticulous attention to detail during these workshops.

“The troupe also participates in carnivals, showcasing their spectacular performances. Their upcoming theme, "Take a Flight", will feature a variety of colourful and exotic bird costumes, promising a visually enthralling spectacle for the audience.”

Other troupes include DanceMania Dance School, from Sutton-in- Ashfield, the Original Step Performers, a dance troupe from Leicester, and Green Power, based at Mansfield Museum.

To keep up to date with all things carnival people can ssign up for a free 'ticket' on the museum website at  https://www.mansfield.gov.uk/museum/events/event/4046/mansfield-carnival-2024. There is also an event page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/354765110773279.

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