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Eastleigh Carnival set for return
4:30pm Friday 14th September 2012 in News
It is a comeback set to go off with a bang.
Previous organisers said they lacked volunteers and the event had an “uncool image”.
But a new group of residents stepped forward to put on a revamped celebration - giving the event a Mardi Gras makeover.
With a cannon display by the Fort Cumberland Guard, live bands and a fire finale, organisers have promised the event will go off with a “flash bang wallop”.
The special effects team that worked on Pirates of the Caribbean, EastEnders and Merlin, will even attempt to “blow up” the band stand in Leigh Road Recreation Ground on Saturday night, during a stunning finale to the first day of the Jubilee Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras committee member Keith Trenchard said he hoped that residents would support the new event.
He said: “It's the first one and we want to make it work - we have been working non-stop to get it organised.
“We wanted to do it for the community; if you don't do these things, these events disappear.
“If it all goes well it will be brilliant, but we really need the crowds to come out and join in.”
Throughout the weekend, events will be taking place at Leigh Road Recreation Ground - including Samba performances, Zumba and a talent competition.
There will be 45 stalls on the field, along with food and refreshment provided by a variety of local businesses - including a BBQ by the Artisan café.
The highlight of the weekend will be Saturday night's parade, which will start from The Chamberlayne in Blenheim Road.
Families can register to take part in the procession from 4.30pm and there will be prizes for the best fancy dress.
Carnival-themed events have also been organised at various pubs in the town for after the official programme is over.
Celebrations continue on Sunday on the recreation ground, with a Taekwondo taster session, belly dancing and drumming performances from Djembabes.
Organisers say they are hoping to keep the Mardi Gras carnival going next summer - and could even organise several events throughout the year.
Saturday at Leigh Road Recreation Ground
- 12noon: Big Noise Community Samba Band 1pm: Basingstoke Silver Band
- 1pm - 5pm: Eastleigh's Got Talent Finals
- 2pm - 4pm: Kids Races
- 3pm: Tribe of the Honeybadgers
- 3.20pm: The Screaming Harpies 4pm: Zumba South
- 4.30pm: Eastleigh Fusion Choir
- 5pm: Mardi Gras Parade (from The Chamberlayne, Blenheim Road) 6pm: Picnic on the Park
- 7pm: Fire Finale
Sunday at Leigh Road Recreation Ground
- 12pm: Big Bang Start 12.15pm:
- Kajira Bellydancers 1pm: Spitfire Taekwondo taster session
- 2pm: Djembabes
- 3pm: Monkeys Hoop Shaker and the Happy Hula
- 4pm: Curves
- 4.45pm: Fort Cumberland Guard Finale
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