A Carnival Twist for Spalding Pumpkin Parade

Last month saw Spalding’s popular Pumpkin Festival take on the carnival spirit with costumes, music and dancers.

The traditional parade was transformed with the help of Caribbean Carnival arts company emccan and arts engagement organisation Festive Road.

Transported and South Holland District Council invited emccan and Festive Road to create large scale carnival costumes and lanterns  with John Harrox Primary School, Moulton and Spalding High School. The creations ranged from pumpkin lanterns to a roman chariot with pumpkins for wheels!

Dancers from local schools, and Spalding dance group ‘Elite’ worked with emccan to learn a new routine and carnival dance skills that brought enough energy to the parade to get members of the audience dancing.

Transported’s involvement in Spalding Pumpkin Parade reflects T2’s continuing support for festivals in South Lincolnshire, and our aim to raise artistic ambition at public events in Boston Borough and South Holland. Transported also organised ‘Sunday Spectacular!’, an exciting mixture of performing artists and craft workshops in Boston Market Place for the Family Arts Festival that was attended by hundreds of people in October. Look out for Illuminate on 24th November, a fantastic light parade organised in partnership with Boston Borough Council in the lead up to Mayflower 400.

Council Gary Taylor, a portfolio holder with organisers South Holland District Council, said: “I’ve already had feedback from people telling me this was the best pumpkin festival ever. The town centre was filled with people of all ages enjoying themselves. The carnival element of the parade provided by Transported really added a vibrancy to the event which was topped off with a spectacular firework display. The atmosphere in the town centre throughout the day and evening was fantastic proving that Pumpkin Festival remains one of the highlights of the event calendar.”

Tour Manager for emccan, Tara Lopez said;

It was fantastic to see the hard work from the past few weeks come together to create such a strong carnival parade. In previous years the event has consisted of just two groups, we more than doubled this offering and you could clearly see the impact our artists had on the crowds.

“The wonder in people’s faces and the thousands of phones taking pictures made it clear to me that we were very well received. Our artists were a huge part of creating this level of wonder and spectacle so we thank them for their hard work both in the lead up to and at the event.”

Chair of emccan and Derby Caribbean Carnival, George Mighty MBE said;

“We are pleased to be building on the partnership we initiated with artsNK and Transported earlier this year through our Strategic Tour; taking Caribbean Carnival Arts out to rural areas throughout Lincolnshire.

“We want to share artist’s skills in schools and in the community so that more people can appreciate them, and for a greater understanding of Caribbean Carnival traditions and creativity.”

Check out emccan’s blog about their work in Spalding here.

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