The one month countdown to carnival is on!

Hackney Carnival returns to the streets this year on Sunday 11 September from 12.00 to 7.00pm with a parade of spectacular costumes, vibrant dance routines and live music. 

Twenty five carnival groups, including twenty local bands and eight guest groups, will join residents to celebrate Hackney’s culture and creativity. Alongside the procession, Hackney Carnival will feature popular sound systems, family friendly activities, street entertainment and food stalls selling a range of global cuisines.

The route sees the parade make its way around Hackney Central from Mare Street to Graham Road and along Queensbridge Road, stopping outside Hackney Town Hall to entertain audience members with short performances. A panel of judges will vote for the best live music, performances, dance routines and costumes on display.

This year’s carnival proudly celebrates Hackney’s diversity, inclusivity and environmental responsibility, and features participants of all ages and from many diverse backgrounds, including young children, elders, people with disabilities and an LGBTQ+ led group.

With its colourful carnival costumes, steel pan bands and sound systems, the procession will see african drummers, fire breathers acrobats and lion masquerades, inspired by the carnival traditions of the Caribbean Islands as well as Brazilian drummers, Bolivian dancers, a Turkish and Kurdish band and an East Asian carnival troupe. 

For the first time ever, Hackney Carnival includes a dedicated family area, featuring a global music stage that will host performances from local young musicians from the Jewish, Turkish and Kurdish communities, a lion dance from the Vietnamese Chinese community, as well as traditional Somalian dancing and music from The Republic of Congo and Ghana. There will be soca dance classes, majorettes, a reggae choir, African drumming, arts and crafts workshops, the Playbus and a well being area. Along Churchwell Path guests can also enjoy the young people’s performance platform featuring talent from youth arts projects.

Carnival-goers can look out for people or battery-powered alternatives to traditional floats, while audience members will also be encouraged to ditch single-use plastic bottles and bring their own water bottles and drinks cups. 

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