Thousands join in the party for Edinburgh’s Festival Carnival

Jazz and Blues Festival Carnival Parade from the Mound along Princes Street. Pic Greg Macvean.
Jazz and Blues Festival Carnival Parade from the Mound along Princes Street. Pic Greg Macvean.
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THRONGS of sun-soaked spectators lined a busy Princes Street to take-in the sights and sounds of Edinburgh’s sixth Carnival Festival.

And the party atmosphere kicked-off with a colourful parade of performers who drummed up the crowds with an array of bright costumes and exotic sounds.

Thousands of people joined in with the rousing bands as over 800 performers wound down The Mound along Princes Street and into Princes Street Gardens.

Following the hour-long parade, attention turned to the Ross Bandstand and the wider Princes Street Gardens, where performances continued on stage, launched by a melting pot of upbeat funk from the Backyard Rhythm Orchestra.

Crowds were also entertained by a host of Scottish drummers, dancers, fire-eaters, jugglers, stilt walkers and circus acts, including Pulse the Pace, a group of nearly 50 young drummers who are celebrating the group’s tenth anniversary.

Rohan Seilman, project development worker said he was exceptionally proud of the performers.

“The energy was incredible,” he said. “They were so good.

“It was a lovely day with a fantastic crowds.

“It is the first time the two 12-year-old girls at the front have led at a carnival or big parade and they did a brilliant job.

“I think they were really nervous but they warmed to it supported by a fantastic audience.”

Jazz and Blues Festival Carnival Parade from the Mound along Princes Street. Pic Greg Macvean.

Jazz and Blues Festival Carnival Parade from the Mound along Princes Street. Pic Greg Macvean.

The group who working in partnership with local primary schools to provide free classes – thanked Youth Music Initiative for the support through funding.

Mr Seilman added: “We’ve got kids here who wouldn’t come regularly if it wasn’t free and that’s all down to the funding we receive.”

And Beth Tomney, 17, has been part of the troop for seven years. “I love this,” she said. “I love performing each year and I think it just gets better and better.”

The public were also treated to Cape Town dancers and stunning tricks from Zambian acrobats.

Jazz and Blues Festival Carnival Parade from the Mound along Princes Street. Pic Greg Macvean.

Jazz and Blues Festival Carnival Parade from the Mound along Princes Street. Pic Greg Macvean.

Returning favourites included the Edinburgh Samba School which showcased a spectacle of Samba percussion and dance alongside the French Samba Resille group.

The local Chinese Community put on a fascinating show of traditional dance as well as the crowd-pleasing Chinese Dragon and Lion.

A pep-circus from France, Bombrando pipes and drums performance from Portugal and dance groups from Spain and Beijing added to the international flavour of yesterday’s showstopper, including performers from Senegal, South Africa Italy, Portugal, Martinique and Trinidad.

KalentuRa – drummers and dancers from Holland – rounded-off the party at the Ross Bandstand by inviting the whole crowd to join in.

For mum Tamara Edgerton it was not the first time she had been entertained by Edinburgh’s carnival but it was her son 19-month-old Kane’s first outing. “I’ve lived in Edinburgh for five years now and I come every year,” she said. “The atmosphere is amazing, it’s a lovely day.

“This is Kane’s first time – he’s loving it. It’s all new to him and he’s in his element!”

Jazz and Blues Festival Carnival Parade from the Mound along Princes Street. Pic Greg Macvean.

Jazz and Blues Festival Carnival Parade from the Mound along Princes Street. Pic Greg Macvean.

And for Kathryn Armaghan and six-year-old daughter Sarah from Kirkliston, the sun was a welcome addition to a great day. “We started on the Mound and worked our way down to the Gardens. We play in a Samba band, so we came along to watch them in particular – it’s been really good.”

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk