Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Welcome to the Leeds West Indian Carnival
  2. This year is the 50th anniversary of the event
  3. The Leeds Carnival parade leaves Potternewton Park
  4. It takes a circular route along Harehills Avenue, Roundhay Road and back up Chapeltown Road
  5. More than 100,000 people are expected to watch on the streets and park

Live Reporting

By Nick Wilmshurst

All times stated are UK

Our live coverage - thanks for being with us

Thanks for being with us today, we hope you enjoyed out coverage of the 50th Leeds West Indian Carnival.

If you need more carnival fun, then why not check this out - a programme that looks back at the last 50 years of the event.

West Indian Carnival
BBC
West Indian Carnival
BBC
West Indian Carnival
BBC
West Indian Carnival
BBC

Watch:Sights and sounds of the carnival parade

Thousands of people came along to the Leeds West Indian Carnival today to take in the sights and sounds of the event.

Here are some of the highlights from the parade itself:

In pictures: Thousands come to Leeds to celebrate Caribbean culture

More than 100,000 people lined the streets around Potternewton Park in Leeds today for the West Indian Carnival:

West Indian Carnival
BBC
West Indian Carnival
BBC
West Indian Carnival
BBC
West Indian Carnival
BBC

Watch: Build-up to Leeds Carnival 2017

It was hot, loud, colourful and it smelled pretty good.

The Leeds West Indian Carnival was one not to be missed in it's 50th year.

Here are some of the sights and the sounds - sorry there's nothing we can do about the smells you'll just have to imagine:

In pictures: Best dressed at Leeds carnival

Just take a look at the work and dedication that has gone into the costumes for this year's carnival:

West Indian Carnival
BBC
West Indian Carnival
BBC
West Indian Carnival
BBC

In pictures: Sights of Leeds West Indian Carnival 2017

Here's just a flavour of today's Leeds West Indian Carnival as the sun shone on Potternewton Park:

Carnival
BBC
Carnival
BBC
Carnival
BBC
Carnival
BBC

Founder still going strong

Arthur France
BBC

The man holding the flag is Arthur France.

That's the same Arthur France who founded the Leeds West Indian Carnival 50 years ago.

Yes, 50 years ago!

Listen: Report from the centre of the carnival

Get yourself into the centre of the action at the carnival.

I'm taking part in the actual parade, and the atmosphere is electric.

People from all communities smiling at carnival

This tweet from BBC Radio Leeds' live reporter Peg Alexander says it all really:

View more on twitter

Listen: The hours of work behind the costumes

Ronan Sully

Reporter, BBC Radio Leeds

Let's face it, the costumes on show at the carnival don't just happen by magic.

There's hours of work that goes into them not to mention the engineering.

Some of them have drinks bottles holders!

Leeds carnival is 'incredible event'

Hear hear, well done Leeds!

View more on twitter

Watch: Parade on the streets of north Leeds

You need very good hips to do this:

Via Visit Leeds.

Amazing costumes on display at the parade

Just some of the costumes being worn by the people taking part in the parade:

Costume
BBC
Costume
BBC
Costume
BBC
Costume
BBC

Sunny day for carnival

How sunny does this look?

Potternewton Park is bathed in sunshine as people enjoy this year's carnival

Carnival stage
BBC

Parade gets underway

Here's some of the amazing costumes in the Leeds carnival parade this year:

Carnival Parade
BBC
Carnival Parade
BBC

Watch: Looking to the future

Although the carnival turns 50 in 2017, there's a new crop of creative people looking to keep the flame alive well into the future:

Carnival parade leaves park

The parade is underway and here are some of the colourful costumes sported by participants leaving Potternewton Park:

Listen: 'If Leeds had a crown, this would be the jewel'

Oli Woodcock

BBC Local Live, Yorkshire

I spoke to Susan Pitter who is one of the Leeds Carnival organisers.

She said that "If Leeds had a crown, this would be the jewel".

Parade gathering ready to set off

Organiser of the carnival Arthur France (second from right) is pictured here in full dress, getting ready to set off on the parade.

It looks like the leader of Leeds City Council Judith Blake is enjoying herself too:

Parade almost ready
BBC

Watch: My carnival by Azalia Anisko

Azalia Anisko, from Leeds Young Authors, talks of her experience of Leeds West Indian Carnival:

West Indian Carnival 2017: Pictures from the parade

The parade is about to begin at Leeds West Indian Carnival and the costumes are amazing:

Carnival costume
BBC
Carnival costume
BBC
Carnival costume
BBC
Carnival costume
BBC
Carnival costume
BBC

Watch: My carnival Ginalda Tavares Manuel

Ginalda Tavares Manuel, from Leeds Young Authors, talks of her experience of Leeds West Indian Carnival:

Watch: Exactly how exciting is Leeds carnival?

If you want to know how exciting the carnival is, maybe this will give you a flavour.

Our reporter Jacob Tomlinson gets right into the action:

Leeds carnival like Notting Hill 'only better'

Here's a tweet from one of the police officers keeping people safe at the at Leeds Carnival today.

If a police officer says this, you know it's true

View more on twitter

Watch: My carnival by Halima France Mir

Halima France Mir, the granddaughter of Leeds West Indian Carnival founder Arthur France, talks of her experience of the event:

Leeds carnival is 'tribute to the strength of the community'

More than 100,000 people are expected to come to Leeds today to join in or simply watch the spectical of the city's West Indian carnival this year.

The leader of Leeds City Council says that the event makes the city an example for others to follow:

Carnival
BBC

It's a huge tribute to the strength of the community, we want to demonstrate to the world what we can achieve coming together."

Cllr Judith BlakeLeeds City Council leader

Atmosphere already 'incredible'

Abi Jaiyeola

Reporter, BBC Look North

There's already an incredible atmosphere and they haven't even hit the road yet for this year's parade.

It's due to set off in the next few minutes:

Carnival 1
BBC
CARNIVAL 2
BBC

Watch: Parade getting ready

Ronan Sully

Reporter, BBC Radio Leeds

It's not long until this year's parade should be setting off.

Here's just a glimpse of some of the costumes we'll be seeing:

Road closures around Leeds Carnival

There'll be lots of fun to be had at the carnival today, but one thing to be aware of are the road closures around Potternewton Park.

Carnival
BBC

From today until early tomorrow morning, these roads will be affected:

  • Chapeltown Road from Barrack Road to Newton Road
  • Harehills Avenue from Chapeltown Road to Avenue Hill
  • The whole of Avenue Hill

For complete details of which roads will be closed, or partially closed, click here for Leeds City Council's information site.

Watch: Best thing about Carnival?

Whether you're a first-timer or veteran to the Leeds event, you should take a look at what Sanchez Payne and Malloy Lawrence think about Carnival.

The pair, from Chapeltown, discuss the culture, food, drink, dancing and what it means to them:

Listen: Jerk chicken for breakfast?

Ronan Sully

Reporter, BBC Radio Leeds

Many nutritionists will tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and on carnival day you've got to do it right.

What better way to start the day than with a bit of Jerk chicken for breakfast?

Watch: First queen returns for 50th anniversary

As Leeds West Indian Carnival celebrates 50 years, the first carnival queen tells us her memories of the first event.

Final preparations underway for Leeds West Indian Carnival 2017

The big parade itself won't start until 13:00 so right now the final preparations are being made:

Set up
BBC

And for some it's a time to ,make sure you get the best seat in the house - congrats to Bev, John, Pete and Joan (and Walter the dog).

They've got their spot sorted already:

Set up
BBC

Watch: Founders speak of pride

Little did the founders of Leeds West Indian Carnival imagine that it would grow and evolve into the spectacle we enjoy today.

We spoke to them about their feelings as the event celebrates its 50th anniversary:

The history of Leeds West Indian Carnival

The West Indian Carnival in Leeds was launched in 1967 and has again taken over Potternewton Park for the August bank holiday weekend.

Carnival
Maria Spadaforda

Arthur France (pictured below) initiated it after becoming homesick for his native St Kitts and Nevis and it's now the largest free event in the city, attracting up to 150,000 people.

Mr France said: "When you come to carnival it is electric, so many things going on, beautiful costumes, beautiful colours, beautiful music."

According to the organisers Leeds Carnival was the first in the UK to incorporate all three essential elements of authentic West Indian carnival – costumes, music and a masquerade procession.

Arthur France
BBC

Back in 1967 Arthur France invited the then Chief Inspector of West Yorkshire Police to his flat to talk about plans for the first ever carnival.

A few thousand people turned up, and in those days the parade started at Potternewton Park, but it travelled all the way to the city centre.

It wasn't until 1983 that the parade first took the route it does now. It's estimated that the event now brings £55m into the city's economy.

Road closures around the parade route

The Leeds West Indian Carnival wouldn't be the same without the parade, in many aspects, it's what the carnival's all about.

But this means that many of the roads around Potternewton Park will have to be closed, here's what you need to know:

Carnival
Guy Farrar

Road information

If you're out and about on today, and not planning on going to Carnival, it's probably best to avoid it all together because a lot of the roads nearby are closed:

  • The council will close some roads from 17:00 on Sunday and reopen them at 05:30 on Tuesday
  • Roads affected will include Chapeltown Road, Harehills Lane, Harehills Avenue, Avenue Hill, Saville Drive and Mexborough Drive

You can see the full list of road closures here.

Watch: Getting your wind on for the carnival

Worried your moves aren't up-to-scratch for the carnival this year?

Here's a simple demonstration for you - Rosemary and Carmen suggest:

To jam, get those hips moving. Wind your waist'

Thanks ladies!

Watch: Carnival king and queen crowned

Watch the show as the 50th Leeds West Indian Carnival king and queen are crowned:

The parade route, where does it go?

This year's carnival parade starts at 13:00 and there's expected to be about 150,000 people there to see it along the route, so make sure you get there early.

It then takes about four hours for the procession to make it's way back into the park.

Take a look at the map below to see where it goes:

Parade route
Leeds City Council

Best places to watch the procession

Parade Start and Finish in Potternewton – The hill overlooking the main stage and costume arena.Parade Start – Junction of Harehills Lane and Roundhay Road.Along the Route – Roundhay Road and Chapeltown Road.Parade Return to Potternewton Park – Junction of Chapeltown Road and Harehills Avenue; Harehills Avenue.

Watch: J'ouvert at the Leeds West Indian Carnival

Way before the Leeds West Indian Carnival starts proper, the party has already begun - at 06:00 this morning!

Carnival day started with this traditional early morning soca music jam and mini parade known as J'ouvert - bad news if you live around Potternewton Park and were trying to have a bank holiday lie-in.

Good news if you like to party!