rydemardigrasSpectators to The New Carnival Company’s colourful Mardi Gras Parade should bring plenty of enthusiasm and good cheer with them as Rex, the King of Carnival, will be rewarding supporters with gifts of Mardi Gras Beads distributed from his float, the Boeuf Gras (fattened bull) during tomorrow’s (Saturday) Ryde Mardi Gras parade. 

Frankie Goldspink, parade organiser for The New Carnival Company explains:

“The gifting of ‘throws’ or ‘favours’ from the carnival floats is unique to New Orleans Mardi Gras parades, and is said to have derived from the festival customs of the English Renaissance era. By introducing this novelty to our own lead float we are paying tribute to New Orleans, the mother of all Mardi Gras parades”.

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The Mardi Gras Float will be accompanied by masqueraders from IW College performing arts students who will help distribute the beads and majorette dancers from PJs Theatre School, all adding to the New Orleans flavour.

Following on behind the Float, the Mardi Gras will take on a theme of ‘Art Histories’, a story told in 20 chapters from Stone Age Art (performed by Preston Close Carnival Club) to Pop Art (performed by Ryde School) and beyond. Over 25 different schools and community groups will be taking part, amounting to over 700 costumed performers who will dance and gyrate along the route to the sound of samba drums and specially selected music.

To view the parade, come along to Ryde Town Centre on tomorrow (Saturday 29 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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