|Acton dazzled by spectacular Carnival|
8000 attended Acton's best carnival yet
Record crowds thronged a packed Acton Park last Saturday to enjoy an Acton Carnival with something for everyone.
The spectacular Carnival Parade attracted new groups this year, including the Oaktree Renegades, Acton High School, the Somali Community, Vuka Afrika, Buffer Bear Nursery, Dominican Oversees Nationals Association and Oke Ossisi Afrika, as well as annual participants Ealing Chinese School, Sure Start, APPLE, the Log Cabin, Friary Park Youth Project, Leamington Youth Group, Westcott Community, Stardust Mas Band, Acton Girls Group, Fitness First, Dance Carib, Drum Carib and the amazing Trinidadian Blue Devils.
The streets of Acton were filled with colour, spectacle and energy. The route culminated in each group showcasing their costumes and dance routines on the main stage.
“What a brilliant day! Congratulations all of you on making a wonderful event happen. Thanks for a fab time.” (Vicki. APPLE)
Acton Park Festival was also a resounding success this year, with attractions for all the family. On the Main Stage, Master T, Soca DJ and MC for the day, kept the audience entertained and the full programme of entertainment rolling. The show was opened by the Community Entertainment Enterprise Showcase featuring Charlie P, Got to Remember, Sister Levi, Lady Guess, Outrageous, Prince Masai and Afrika. Following the spectacle of the Carnival Masqueraders Showcase, performers included Eddie Capone, Descendants, EalingChineseSchool, SYN in the form of Flava and Mad Scientist, Vuka Afrika, In the Balance, Firebird and Akhtamar Armenian Dancers.
Around the Festival site, over 60 stalls, including a mouthwatering selection of international cuisine in the Food Village created tantalising aromas and delightful tastes to sustain the huge crowds who were further entertained by an array of musical entertainment throughout the park. CAPE Drummers kicked off with a drumming workshop. Stardust Steel Orchestra played throughout the day, with the ‘big band’ and ‘youth group’ all having the opportunity to play their broad repertoire of music.
Cavalry Sound drew even larger crowds than ever, with Leathan and crew hitting the spot in a redbrick style.
Acton’s Nexos Latinos Americanos brought a latin flavour to the Carnival which included popular salsa workshops, presentations by young and old, and bands from Cuba, Central and South America.
A welcome addition this year was the Somali Sound System which played popular Somali music to picnicking families gathered in the shade of the trees.
There were a huge variety of arts, crafts, fashion, cultural and information stalls while the fun fair rides sizzled and clanged.
On the sporting front, the day began with a 5-aside football tournament, and the Randolph Baptiste Cup was won (fittingly) by the Acton Vale team. Basketball coaching and 3-on-3 matches, coached by Acton’s own talent carried on well into the evening. The Stars Tae Kwando Club demonstrated their skills. There was also the opportunity to witness the graceful martial art of Capoeira, courtesy of locally based MaraZul and Project Gem. And finally, the Acton Carnival Dominoes Championship took place, with the cup being held for the third year by the United Anglo Caribbean Association.
The Art and Crafts Tent was a hive of activity, hosting Chinese Crafts, Misty Carnival Arts, the Nest Exhibition and the ‘Art in the Park’ panel painting, sponsored by the Churchfield Community Association, and led by local artist Chris Bogle.
All in all the day was a huge success: a truly multi-cultural, peaceful, family event, with something for everyone and enjoyed by all.
Thanks to those who have financially supported Acton Carnival, including: the Oaks Shopping Centre, Catalyst Housing Group, Acton & West London College, Liveability, the London Borough of Ealing, and Ealing Connecting Communities Project.
Acton Carnival 05 was the best yet. The reason for its popularity is the fact that the people of Acton own it. Every aspect of the event is Acton-based and community rooted from the parade participants, performers, entertainment, stewards, stallholders, sound systems and organisers. Likewise, the support base, local residents and Carnival goers, recognise this and support the event. This is one of the key strengths of the Acton Carnival, this year attracting some 8,000. Community Forum Manager Steve Flynn, after thanking the Councils Events Team, Acton Park Rangers, and the police from the Safer Neighbourhood Teams commented;
‘There’s a lot of discussion about Community Cohesion and understanding and respecting, indeed celebrating the diverse cultures that we are lucky to have here in Acton. Today was that in action. There was no trouble, everyone enjoyed themselves and days like this just enrich everyone’s experience ’
July 23rd 2005