Hackney One Carnival


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For more than four decades Hackney has been finding good reasons to celebrate on the streets, and this year is no exception. The Hackney One Carnival – “an exuberant celebration of local creativity and diversity” takes place on Sunday 11 September.

Hackney Council’s cabinet member for culture, Cllr Jonathan McShane, said: “I want to see as many people lining the route to make this year’s carnival the best ever celebrating all that is great about Hackney.”

But what will they see? First and foremost, the main parade, which sets off from Hackney’s famous Ridley Road at 2pm, then heads along Dalston Lane, Queensbridge Road, Richmond Road and into Mare Street, passing the judging point at the Town Hall from 3.15pm onwards. From there, around 20 mas bands, soca trucks and steelbands head north up Amhurst Road and Dalston Lane to reach Ridley Road again at about 5pm.

The council is asking residents and businesses in Ridley Road to decorate their premises with flags and bunting to create a vibrant carnival atmosphere, adding to the global feast available at numerous food stalls.

A live music stage at Gillett Square, play area for children and street theatre at the town hall are also promised. Afterwards, revellers can head to The Three Compasses pub, 99 Dalston Lane, for rum punch, face painting and reggae, dancehall and Afrobeats from Ben-Jah Meakin.

The first carnival in Hackney is believed to have taken place in 1973 and it has had various names since then, including Hackney Mare de Gras. Hackney One Carnival was set up by 15 carnival groups in 2008. The borough has been home to Pantonic Steel Orchestra (founded 1988), Beeraahar Sweet Combination (founded in 1993 by Christina Oree and David Grant) and the late lamented Perpetual Beauty Carnival Association, set up in the 1970s.

• Full details can be found at: www.hackney.gov.uk/carnival