Huddersfield Carnival is back and it’s time to party!

As part of Kirklees Year of Music 2023, Huddersfield Carnival returns in all its colourful, noisy and mouthwatering glory – and the parade is back in town for the first time since 2018.

On Saturday July 8, Huddersfield streets will once again be filled with masqueraders and carnival queens dancing to the traditional sounds of Caribbean culture.

The parade, funded by Arts Council England and fundraising by Huddersfield Carnival Committee, will also feature Hardeep Sahota and bhangra beats and Band Na Rua street percussion.

They will join an exciting day of music, stalls and family fun in Greenhead Park, delivered in partnership with Kirklees Council as part of Kirklees Year of Music.

The parade will start from the Hudawi Centre in Great Northern Street at 1pm and follow the route through the town to Greenhead Park.

It will pass through Great Northern Street, Hillhouse Lane, Willow Lane East, Willow Lane, St John’s Road, John William Street, Market Place, Cloth Hall Street, Market Street, Westgate (top) and Trinity Street.

The parade has not been seen in town since 2018. The new committee have worked for five years and through Covid to get Carnival on the streets of Huddersfield again.

Mas bands will compete for prizes for their costumes and carnival spirit on the road culminating in the stage performance of high energy dance at Greenhead Park.

The Carnival in Greenhead Park opens at 12noon with stage acts, sound systems and food stalls for a family day of Caribbean cultural performances. There will be free kids’ activities of crafts and drumming workshops as well as a funfair.

Appearing on stage will be the headline act from Trinidad, soca artist Farmer Nappy supported by Don Campbell (reggae), One Drum (African drumming) with DJ Seani B from Radio 1 Extra and hosted by comedian Aurie Styler.

The park activities are delivered in a partnership by the Carnival Committee and Kirklees Council, funded as part of the 2023 Kirklees Year of Music with additional sponsorship from Zoflora, Centraben Prohydrate 5, Kirklees College and Kirklees Local TV.

Two sound systems funded by Windrush Heritage Lottery Fund will also be playing a variety of Caribbean influenced music both new and vintage in tribute to Huddersfield’s historical influence on sound system culture in the UK.

A new generation of carnival enthusiasts from local mas bands Collision, Phoenix, Pure Elegance and Reach Performing Arts have been making costumes in one of the Temporary Contemporary units on the Piazza in Huddersfield.

Their leaders are all under 30 and have attended workshops with leading carnival arts practitioners Hughbon Condor, Steve Hoyte and Pareesha Webster to develop their artistry.

Spectators can expect a wonderful show of colour and sparkle developed by Caribbean loving young people of Huddersfield.

A new queen costume built by local makers to celebrate Huddersfield will appear featuring Victoria Tower on Castle Hill.

Carnival committee co-ordinator Paige Phillip said: “Huddersfield Carnival holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. It’s a celebration that brings people together, transcending backgrounds and fostering a sense of unity and togetherness.”

Carlyn Ferrria, chair of Huddersfield African Caribbean Cultural Trust (HACCT), the charitable trust for Huddesfield Carnival, said: “Through the carnival, we pay tribute to the Windrush generation and their incredible contributions to British society, honouring their resilience, strength, and the lasting impact they’ve made on the community.”

Windrush 75 will be represented by a Carnival Queen costume funded by Huddersfield High Street Heritage Action Zone Cultural Consortium.

Clr Naheed Mather, Kirklees Council’s Cabinet member for culture, said: “The council is delighted to play a part in bringing Huddersfield Carnival’s music, entertainment and vibrancy to Greenhead Park as part of Kirklees Year of Music.

“The day is sure to be an exciting celebration of African and Caribbean culture with plenty for everyone to enjoy.”