Carnival of the World Returns to Reading

Carnival of the World returned to Broad Street Reading after a 3 year hiatus with the arrival of the 4 metre tall Sea Giant Puppet and The Broad Street Parade with vibrant costumes, percussionists, acrobats, fire eaters and dancers. 

Hundreds of people gathered in central Reading for a spectacle of colour, costume, dance and performance. Perfect summer entertainment for the whole family with a live music stage featuring a host of fabulous world artists.

The event was an opportunity to celebrate African and Caribbean culture with the Saturday afternoon event kicking off with award winning Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra (RASPO) who played a lively set in the blazing sunshine.

Joining RASPO were new players performing for the first time with the steel band after almost a year of learning and boot camp style rehearsals.

EKO a giant 4 metre tall puppet accompanied by five dancers brought a dazzling highlight to the event with a story of climate change interpreted through a dynamic and theatrical routine that was both moving and entertaining.

Launched in 2016 Carnival of the World is a key CultureMix Arts event inspired and influenced by carnival and culture from the Caribbean, Africa, Brazil, Sri Lanka and Europe.

Carnival of the World video by robertvarga_official, cover image – vata_the_photographer.

The live stage featured an eclectic selection of world music and dance with ACE Percussion presenting traditional Caribbean songs and chants; soca dance fitness trainer Krystle led a fun Carnival style session; Carnival costume troupe Soca Massive previewed their vibrant Notting Hill Carnival costumes; contemporary artists rappers OSP and singer Kayda May brought a youthful energy; Jah Herbert roused the crowd with popular calypso songs and compere Julia Titus presided.

The Ghanaian drummers from GAHU Dramatic Arts filled the air with pulsing rhythms accompanied by an energetic fire eating contortionist who joined the RASPO percussionists and a host of feathered masqueraders for the Broad Street Parade.

Carnival of the World was a summer triumph for CultureMix Arts with support from Arts Council England, Reading Central Business Improvement District (BID), and Reading’s Economy & Destination Agency (REDA).

Images: @robertvarga_official, Mark Apcar, @vata_the_photographer, and Caroline Gratrix for REDA.