Children takeover Dalston Square for the Hackney Kids' Carnival
Steel pans, Samba, African drumming, colourful costumes and a huge carnival puppet delighted crowds at the first ever Hackney Kids’ Carnival last weekend, which saw children from four local primary schools parading around Dalston Square.
Over 160 pupils took part in carnival workshops over the past two months leading up to the event, learning a range of carnival skills including how to plan a dance routine and how to make headdresses, as well as learning to sing African folk songs and play drums.
The event, which took place on Sunday 15 July, and was packed with hundreds of spectators. As well as performances form the young carnival artistes there were free activities on offer including a ‘watermelon pizza’ making session with Cafe Route, crafting with Donna Fugassa Cafe and a chance to get carnival-inspired temporary glitter tattoos.
Tione Chance, 14 from Dalston, who came along with his younger sister and mum said: “All of the festivities have been great, it’s good to see all the young children being able to express themselves and show people what they are capable of. I like how everyone has come together for this.”
The schools were judged on their performances and received awards in four different categories, judged by carnival expects including the youngest Hackney carnival judge to date, 13 year old Kayjan Maytil.
The year 4 pupils at Colvestone Primary school, who worked with Dimensions Entertainment picked up the award for Best Dance.
Year 6 students from Hoxton Garden School won Best Cultural Representation for their performance with Blema Dancers.
Year 5 and 6 pupils from Randal Cremer Primary school who worked with Pan Vibrations picked up an award for Best Music whilst another class in the same school were awarded Best Carnival Designs for their two entries into the parade with Pan Vibrations and Tropical Isles.
Year 5 children from Southwold Primary School won Most Environmentally Friendly entry for their costumes and performance with Taru Arts.
The awards were presented by Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, Deputy Speaker Cllr Kam Adams, and Cllr Chris Kennedy Cabinet Member for families, early years and play.
The Kids' Carnival was fantastic, there was a real buzz in the air. It was really great to see all the hard work and effort the young people had put into their performances. A big well done to everyone involved.
Jo Riley, Headteacher at Randal Cremer Primary school, who even donned her own carnival costume said: “This project has been amazing it’s what Hackney and Randal Cremer is all about, celebrating diversity. All of the young people have enjoyed performing in front of the crowds, it's been a great experience for them.”
The event was directed by Hackney Carnival Creative Director Pax Nindi, produced by Hackney Council and schools coordination was by Eastside with funding from the Arts Council and is part of a range of events in building up to Hackney Carnival on Sunday 9 September, find out more at www.hackney.gov.uk/carnival.