Cowley Road Carnival Day 2021 celebrations are set to go ahead all over the city, and residents are encouraged to join the ‘Virtual Carnival’ online, decorate their homes as the UK’s first Carnival House Floats and enjoy neighbourhood get-togethers. The festivities will be completed by a Mixcloud After Party hosted by local DJs from 6.00pm.
However, the 2021 carnival programme has had to be adjusted according to Government guidelines.
Planned street parties need to be downsized to smaller-scale neighbourhood get-togethers to be kept within Government guidelines.
Malcom Atkins, who usually organises the Confluence World Music programme on Carnival Day, plans to open his garden in Rose Hill. He said: “I open my garden as a community art gallery on Sundays from 2.00 to 4.00pm, and on Carnival Day, I plan to have the neighbours round.”
Using the 2021 theme ‘Mother Earth’, Oxford residents are encouraged to decorate their houses or premises in the form of carnival floats.
There will be prizes for the best decorated house float and a special prize for residents who best address the ‘Mother Earth’ carnival theme.
Staff and pupils at St Frideswide Primary School have all been involved in using recycled materials to make their float decorations which go up at the school on Friday, 25 June. The school will be celebrating a mini-Carnival Day on Monday, 28 June.
Lauren Arbour, a teacher at the school, said: “The whole school is really excited. We used Earth Day as a starting point for our designs, and the younger pupils have looked at what the planet will look like if we don’t do anything – with smoggy skies and polluted beaches. Our decorations on the Mother Earth theme have been made from recycled materials brought in by parents and pupils to make islands and explorers.”
Alex Singleton has created a House of Sunflowers at his home in Littlemore, which he has painted with murals.
He has made a sunflower wall and is encouraging the community to join in, make their own sunflowers, and bring them to add them to the wall. Details of where to find it is on the website at cowleyroadworks.org.
Everyone from everywhere can join the carnival celebrations online.
Creative Consultant Director Pax Nindi is hosting the event. He says: “There is only one advantage of having carnival online, and that is anyone can join in, no matter where they are. People can come to the Cowley Road Carnival from all over the globe! It is going to be amazing! I can’t wait!”
‘Virtual Carnival’ will stream music and performances, live from noon to 6.00pm, featuring a special carnival performance filmed along the Cowley Road route of the procession by AfroFusion.
There will be music from amazing local bands: Roguey Roads with their new single, Little Brother Eli, The Jerichos, Waterfahl, Sarah Derrick, Scott Gordon Band, Doctor Steevo and from Cacophony Arkestra.
Carnival regulars Horns of Plenty will also be there. It wouldn’t be Cowley Road Carnival Day without them.
Join the carnival on the website at cowleyroadworks.org, Facebook and YouTube.
The party will continue with DJ sets on Mixcloud throughout the evening.