Manchester’s long running Caribbean carnival is undoubtedly the North West’s biggest celebration of Caribbean music, art and culture. It is no surprise then that the return of the Caribbean Carnival of Manchester (CCOM) this weekend drew thousands to Alexandra Park on the first of the two-day annual festival.
CCOM’s glorious return kicked off with the signature parade that saw a host of dancers dressed in colourful costumes whilst partying to booming calypso and dancehall music.
The groups of dancers began their procession in the park then onto Alexandra Road towards Moss Lane, before the final stretch on Claremont road, where festive-goers and spectators lined the streets with their smartphones snapping away the colourful moments.
From amusement park games and rides, to 10 stages, food stalls and plenty of merchandise, there really was something for everyone on the opening day of this famous Moss Side festival.
Although the build-up to this year’s event had been marred with the rumoured £1 entry fee into the park, the event was free provided you complied with a brief search from security staff at the entry points of the park.
Gwen Morris, who travelled with her 6-year-old son and 5-year-old niece from Leeds told TNT, “I last came here when he [her son] was about 3. This year it seems much bigger and with more variety and even more stages I think. Everyone is having fun, the food is so amazing and the sun is shining; we’re loving it”.
With the past week’s weather being intermittent with its sunshine, thousands queued to enter the park where the rest of the party got into full swing by late afternoon.
The 10 stages this year included the North Manchester FM stage, the returning Red Bull stage, Legacy FM, with acts such as south Manchester’s R.I.O, TK Diamonds and Birmingham’s grime queen Lady Leshurr.
The jerk chicken stalls, signature dishes for Caribbean carnivals, were spreading familiar barbeque wafts across the park as salivating groups of revellers had their take-away boxes filled with the Caribbean dish.
Partying continues on Sunday, with more food, music, dancing and outrageous outfits. Let’s hope the weather is as glorious too.
TNT Entertainment Yasin Chinembiri