Backpacks9After 2 years away due to the global pandemic, Mardi Gras is coming back to the streets of Ryde this July.

This year they will be the opening parade for National Children’s Carnival Week, in partnership with UK Centre for Carnival Arts and other carnivals from Leeds to Hastings to the East Midlands.

There are just 4 weeks to go until the Isle of Wight Mardi Gras ‘Our World Our Future’  and the carnival group has been creating some new costumes this year at their Adult and Community Learning Course over the past 6 weeks. Those costumes will lead 3 of the 4 sections of this year’s parade, symbolising ‘People’ ‘Places’ and ‘Planet’.

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Director of Creative Production, Gina Dyer has designed these costumes to be made using over 75% sustainable materials including recycled scraps, natural materials, and locally sourced items rather than foam and plastic that have traditionally been used to make costumes in the past.

This is in keeping with the group’s aim to become sector leaders in sustainable carnival practice.

The 10 participants in the 6-week evening course learned a range of new and traditional crafting skills including crochet, hook and latch, batik fabric decoration, papier mache and junk modelling, with all finished costumes parading through the streets of Ryde on Saturday 9th July.

Hannah Ray, director of New Carnival, has said:

“Over the last 5 years, we have been researching and testing new techniques and materials which are environmentally responsible.

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“It has been fantastic to put all the work together in to create some large show-stopping costumes.

” It will be a real treat to see them out on the road kicking off celebrations for National Children’s Carnival week.’

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