Is the Preston Caribbean Carnival 2022 still on? Organisers respond to rumours following Odeon and Tokyo Jo's fire

Preston's Caribbean Carnival is definitely ON at the weekend, despite widespread rumours it has been called off.

By Brian Ellis
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 12:08 pm

Organisers acted swiftly today to shoot down reports that the colourful event had been cancelled due to last week's big fire in the city centre.

The Carnival committee said "several false news items" had reported the cancellation and they wanted to set the record straight.

The confusion followed the postponement of the pop-up Taste of Carnival event on Preston's Flag Market on Saturday because road closures were still in place near to the scene of the blaze at the former Odeon cinema and nightclub.

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The Caribbean Carnival is Preston's most colourful event of the year.

The traditional Caribbean Carnival, now in its 48th year, does not touch the city centre with its Sunday procession. And the carnival itself is staged on Moor Park.

In a statement issued today a Carnival spokesperson said: "Several false news items had reported that the event had been cancelled following the city centre fire at the weekend, but organisers confirm this is incorrect and related to a promotional event planned for Saturday 21 May.

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"Working with the city council events team, organisers decided not to go ahead with the Flag Market activity because roads remained closed over the weekend and concerns of smoke in the atmosphere (were) reported as the building (was) still smouldered.

The vibrant street procession starts around noon on Sunday.

"Preston annual Caribbean Carnival will go ahead next weekend as planned, starting with a procession of large costumes, music and dance from local and visiting troupes.

"Setting off at 12 noon from Moor Park Ave, it will proceed down Deepdale Road, Meadow Street, St Paul’s Road, Sedgewick Street, North Road and Garstang Road back to the park."

The event is expected to attract up to 15,000 visitors to Preston from across Lancashire and beyond.

The vibrant street procession will be followed by a Caribbean themed fun day on Moor Park.

Celebrating the flamboyant, creative West Indian culture within Preston, the park event will include live performances from Caribbean Latin band July Julay, Levi Tafari, local One Voice Community Choir, UK Soca artist Soca Johnny, Abelwell, Kasai Masai and others.

Caribbean and other food stalls, bar facility and children’s activities, including creative making sessions, rides and inflatables.

The weekend of festivities starts with the ‘One Park – Living Legends’ on Saturday with international Reggae superstar Luciano the Messenjah from Jamaica.