This year City Arts joined forces with new Nottingham-based carnival company Can Samba to produce the biggest, most inclusive, carnival troupe to date.
For the second year running the troupes theme is ‘Flying Free’, a celebration of birds, bees and other creatures of the sky. Volunteers have invested over 1000 hours of their time into bringing the troupe to life.
A fleet of flamboyantly decorated mobility scooters formed a large part of the parade this year enabling those with mobility issues, previously excluded from being able to join in, opportunities to get involved. Boasting specially designed “shells”, adorned with flapping birds and dangling flowers, these mini-floats formed the centrepiece of the troupe.
For the second year running, the massive parrot puppet featured within the parade. A strand of work within the Imagine programme involving older people from Abbeyfield’s Millbeck House care home, Nottinghamshire Hospice and Radford Care Group inspired and helped create the bird. It was built by Tony Mason who, in 2012, created the two giant lions that led the Team GB Olympic winners’ parade.
Last year Betty (95), one of the residents involved in the making of the bird puppet watched on as an audience member. This year Betty was in it ! In the lead up to the carnival, she had been looking forward to being part of the action for ages.
“Thank you for inviting me to join in. I had a great day feeling part of it all. So many gave me care, the decoration of the scooter and those keeping an eye on me throughout the parade. Looking forward to other activities!”.