HunnyhillPreparations are gathering speed for Midsummer Mardi Gras 2013, which will take to the streets of Ryde on later thi month.

Formerly known as The Ryde Arts Parade, this annual procession of colourful carnival costumes, music and dance is this year inspired by a theme of Art Histories. Over 25 island-wide schools and community groups will take part, depicting the story of art from cave painting to pop art and beyond!

mardigrasSchool and community groups have been working hard for weeks to create spectacular costumes and practice their intricate dance routines. Entries range from Hunnyhill Primary School, Newport, in their beautiful costumes inspired by ‘Monet’s Garden’, Equals Friendship Group playing ‘Art Nouveau’, and Godshill Primary School in ‘Abstract Expressionism – Jackson Pollack’! RAW Samba are costuming up for their performance too – with fabulous new creations inspired by ‘Byzantine Art’ of the 5th century

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Frankie Goldspink, parade coordinator for the New Carnival Company explains:

“Our Mardi Gras parade is different from other carnivals in that it tells a story and everyone who takes part is a player in that narrative. Groups can choose which chapter of our story they want to represent, then they research, design and make their own costumes, inspired by the art and artists of that period. It is all part of a much wider carnival-in-education process that takes months of hard work and preparation by hundreds of people of all ages and abilities, right across the island.”

The Midsummer Mardi Gras parade will be led by The New Carnival Company’s own signature Boeuf Gras (the fattened bull) float, inspired by the Rex Parade of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  Students from Isle of Wight College Performing Arts department, PJs Theatre School and our very own Rex, King of Carnival, performed by Giacomo Sedgwick, will accompany the Bull.

To view the parade, come along to Ryde town centre on Saturday 29th June. The parade leaves Ryde School on Queens Road at 15:30 for Newport St, High Street, Union Street, Esplanade and finishes at Quay Rd Car Park by LA Bowl.

For a full line up of groups taking part in Art Histories visit the website at

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