What can Harrogate expect when Carnival returns this month

Destination Harrogate is bringing the Carnival party vibes back to the district this summer, with Carnival returning to Harrogate for the first time in three years following the pandemic.

By Graham Chalmers
Monday, 11th July 2022, 3:52 pm
Updated Monday, 11th July 2022, 3:53 pm

On Saturday, July 30, Harrogate is set to sparkle, shimmer and shine with colourful costumes, music, dance and international flavours from the Caribbean, Brazil, Turkey, China, Nepal, India, Australia and Eastern Europe.

The free, family-friendly festival will feature performers from Leeds West Indian Carnival, who will parade through Harrogate town centre joined by Houriat Belly Dancing, Sweep of Swallows kite puppets, Chinese dragon dancers, brass bands and more.

Members from High Esteem Carnival Designs meet Wallace Sampson in Valley Gardens ahead of the Harrogate Carnival being held on Saturday, July 30.

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    Following the morning parade, an all-day celebration will take place in Harrogate’s iconic Valley Gardens including street theatre, interactive workshops, international street food and two stages hosting music and dance performances.

    Destination Harrogate has commissioned Harrogate International Festivals to deliver the event, following 2019’s Carnival as part of ‘Harrogate Welcomes The World’ – which drew thousands of revellers into Harrogate to enjoy the party atmosphere, in spite of wet weather on the day.

    John McGivern, Destination Events Manager, said: “Carnival is an awesome family-friendly and multicultural event that both local residents and visitors can enjoy, and we’re delighted to be bringing it back to the Harrogate district this year.

    “It feels like a great time to celebrate, not only a wonderful event, but with early signs from the recently released STEAM* and STR** figures suggesting a strong start to the summer season, we can look forward to this event also boosting the recovery of our visitor economy.

    “Carnival helps to showcase the quality of the Harrogate district as a unique events destination, and we’re excited for our amazing summer continuing with this fantastic celebratory event.”

    Coun Stanley Lumley, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, said: “It’s wonderful that Carnival is coming back this year and bringing with it fun, festivities and internationally-flavoured celebrations that everyone can enjoy.

    “Carnival is distinctive and dynamic and will enhance our packed programme of exciting events and experiences, attracting people from across the north of England to the Harrogate district.

    “We can look forward to the town centre buzzing as Carnival parades through and as people also enjoy the shops, bars and restaurants that Harrogate has to offer.”

    Wallace Sampson, Chief Executive, Harrogate Borough Council, said: “Carnival is an amazing event and it’s great to be bringing it back here for 2022 after a three year break following the pandemic.

    “After such a wonderful celebration with our first Carnival in 2019, our residents will rightly be expecting a top quality party.

    “That’s exactly what we look forward to giving them - and in perfect time to kick-start the school summer holidays, as well.”

    Sharon Canavar, Chief Executive, Harrogate International Festivals, said: “After an incredibly tough couple of years for our community it is wonderful to be able to celebrate with a huge party and celebration in our beautiful open spaces.

    “The Carnival is free for everyone to attend and celebrate the diversity, colours, costumes, sounds and flavours from the four quarters of the world, right here in Harrogate.

    “With global music and dance stages, themed food zones, art and craft workshops and street theatre, this family-friendly day is a true party in every sense of the word.

    “Think Rio in Rhododendrons, parade in the petunias, sounds in the sun colonnades, food in the flora and dancing in the dahlias, and you will begin to get a taste of what the day holds in store.”