This year marks the 40th ‘ruby’ anniversary of Preston Caribbean Carnival and organisers say it will be the biggest and most spectacular party yet.
Plans are already underway for a month full of activities culminating with the famous parade and a party in Avenham Park on Sunday, May 25.
The carnival’s committee is hosting a public meeting at Jalgos Sports and Social Club in Rose Street, Preston on Saturday, February 8 at 3pm.
Organisers want as many people as possible to come and share their ideas, thoughts and feelings about the carnival and find out the many different ways they can get involved.
One of the themes for this year is ‘ruby’ and the committee is setting up a new troupe, which will explore this theme in its costumes and performances in the procession and on stage.
Former radio presenter Leroy Allen is the carnival’s events and stage co-ordinator.
He said: “It’s going to be the biggest one yet.
“We want to hold activities throughout May, leading up to the choosing of the King and Queen, which takes place on the Flag Market on May 17, when we judge the best costumes who will lead the procession of the carnival.
“The route of the procession is yet to be confirmed with the council and Preston Police, who have given us a lot of help.
“With it being the 40th one we really want to get as many people as possible who have taken part over the last 40 years involved. It’s a fun, family orientated day.”
The park will host food and gift stalls and a stage with entertainment from singers, musicians and dancers.
The committee is looking for people, community groups and businesses to take part in the procession or sponsor the event, volunteers to help organise activities, and a variety of artists to perform on stage.
Preston Caribbean Carnival started somewhat spontaneously.
In an attempt to remember the great carnivals back home, West Indian immigrants organised a small procession through a few streets in the city.
They begged, bought and borrowed a host of materials, carried costumes and steel drums through cobbled streets – in order to bring at least one day of sunshine and fantasy to Preston.
For more details about the carnival and how you can get involved, visit www.prestoncarnival.co.uk.