On the May spring bank holiday a years worth of preparation finally comes to fruition. The steel bands have finished their practicing, the mas players have stitched the last of the sequins and feathers into their costumes, the sound systems and DJ's are ready to pump out the best in reggae, hip hop, jungle, Brazilian and African: let carnival begin.
At the biggest one day carnival in Europe, over 1000 participants, comprising of artists, street performers, musicians and sound systems gather for a dazzling spectacle of artistic achievement and audience participation. Over 30 floats parading, hundreds of steel drums playing and the smell of jerk chicken and curried goat wafting through the streets make Luton International Carnival the only place to be. Be it Asian, English, Caribbean or Irish, Luton International Carnival showcases the spectacular diversity of carnival in all its glory giving all traditions a place and space to tell their carnival story.
Luton’s first carnival started over 30 years ago in 1976 as a modest Victorian street fair but soon developed as a huge contributor to building social capital and creativity. In 1998 Luton Carnival acquired international status and received the largest single lottery award for carnival development. Luton International Carnival includes the cultures and communities of Luton whilst reflecting and respecting carnival traditions from around the world.