Leeds & West Yorkshire

Sun, music and dancing at the Leeds West Indian Carnival 2019

Leeds Carnival 2019
Image caption The 52nd Leeds Carnival involved more than 3,500 hours of costume-making, organisers said

Thousands of people have lined the streets of Leeds to watch the 52nd Leeds West Indian Carnival.

Organiser Mehalia France said: "We're feeling hot hot hot, glorious weather, fabulous vibes and lots of smiles."

The first West Indian carnival was organised in Leeds in 1967 with about 1,000 people attending. Last year 150,000 people were at the event.

Arthur France, originator of the carnival, said: "We can all still enjoy that first burst of Caribbean culture".

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Image caption The 2019 Leeds carnival involved 2,000 dancers with 50,000 feathers, 20,000 sequins and 5,000 metres of costume material

Ms France said the carnival was initiated in Leeds with the thought that West Indians settling in Britain should be able to assert their cultural identities in a society which at the time was sometimes unwelcoming.

Now people flock to Leeds to see parades, street parties, Caribbean food, music, sound systems, art and costume.

Image caption About 80,000 portions of rice and peas and 80,000 bottles of water are consumed at the festival
Image caption Organisers said emancipated slaves in the Caribbean celebrated their freedom with dancing, music and wearing masks and costumes to mock their former masters
Image caption Bands compete with the most elaborate costumes and best dance, and people daub themselves with mud and paint for the J'Ouvert pyjama parade

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