The Derby West Indian Community Association has overall responsibility for the organising, planning and preparation of the Derby Caribbean Carnival.
However, we do have a Carnival Planning Committee who helps with the preparation and planning of the event. In this respect volunteers are needed for many different areas of carnival such as carnival design and make workshops to help with cutting out and sewing, marshals to help on procession day and on the Park, float dressing and decoration and many other areas.
The regional carnival costume show, consisting of Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Northampton, takes place prior to the Derby Caribbean carnival. This is where we choose a regional Queen as well as a Queen to represent the individual carnivals. The Derby Caribbean Carnival Queen not only represents us at the Derby Caribbean carnival, but also attends other carnival events around the country and represents the organisation at formal functions.
These are held on a weekly basis, starting early in the year, with young people attending the practice sessions. The sessions take place on Tuesdays from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. The young people rehearse their dance routines to be performed on the procession day and also for when they visit other carnival events.
We are always looking for volunteers to help out in the carnival costume make workshops, so if you have some time to spare and you can sew or contribute in anyway then we would like to hear from you.
Carnival takes place on the third Sunday of July each year. This includes the procession where we have troupes from London, Luton, Leeds, Bradford, Preston, Leicester, Birmingham, and Nottingham as well as MProductiontime2show Troupe from Derby and the Association’s own troupe Cultural Roots Carnival Troupe (CRCT). All troupes gather on Cathedral Green near the Derby Silk Mill (The Museum of Making). The procession sets off at 1.00 pm, meandering its way from Cathedral Green, through the City Centre, up St Peter’s Street, Babington Lane, Normanton Road, Pear Tree Road, Portland Street, Osmaston Park Road, Moor Lane and finally arriving at Osmaston Park at approximately 3.00 pm, culminating in a costume exhibition of all troupe members.
Once on Osmaston Park revellers can enjoy the stage show with an international headline artist, other local and national artists as well as local and national sound systems providing music for all tastes. There is a Funfair to keep the children entertained, catering stalls selling Caribbean and European foods as well as arts and crafts stalls. It is certainly a fun filled day for all the family.
The Derby Caribbean Carnival is an annual arts, culture and recreational project/event planned and organised by the Derby West Indian Community Association.
The carnival has been going for many years and in fact started out as a small festival in 1975 being held at Moorways Sports Centre where members of the community came together to organise various activities in order to raise funds. Although the carnival is organised by the DWICA, we work collaboratively with other organisations and interested parties to programme and deliver the event.
It was not until 1986 when we began to put much more emphasis on the carnival when we employed a worker for Caribbean Focus 1986. From here on in the carnival became a much bigger venture, attracting much more interest not just from the East Midlands region but nationally.
Originally the carnival was held over one day on a Saturday but in 1998 we tried a new approach whereby the carnival was held over two days with the procession taking place on the Saturday and events, such as stage show with internationally acclaimed artists, fun fair, beer tent, sound systems, arts and craft stalls, food stalls (selling Caribbean as well as European foods) being held on Osmaston Park on the Sunday. This proved to be very successful and since then the carnival has been held over a two day period.
Over the years most of the funding has been provided by the organisation itself but we have been fortunate in the past to also have received funding from Arts Council (East Midlands), in kind support from Derby City Council, although more recently we have received infra-structure cost from the Derby City Council. We have been sponsored by Derbyshire Building Society, Rolls Royce, Western Union and Midland Mainline to name just a few.
During the carnival period we can attract as many as 150 volunteers to help in areas such as the organising of the carnival, carnival workshops, carnival queen show, marshalling duties both on the procession day and on carnival day as well as doing other duties. We are very grateful to these volunteers who take time out of their day to help with this activity which is integral to the work of the organisation.
We feel that the carnival costume workshops provide an opportunity for the professional facilitators to pass on the skills of costume making to both young and old, in order that they can then start to take over the running of the costume workshops.
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