May 20 2013 Latest news:
Monday, March 11, 2013
Carnival time will be coming to Norwich later this year when the city’s very own Mardi Gras takes to the stage.
And the support of people across the city is needed to help make this colourful spectacle an event to remember.
The Norwich Mardi Gras, which will take place in Earlham Park in the autumn, is the idea of volunteers from the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans) community and is aimed to be a day of celebration, spectacle, and fun for all.
Inspired by the likes of the Mardi Gras festivals in Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans, it will see the city park host a giant party full of music, cabaret, dancing, a funfair and more.
The Norwich Mardi Gras will be in September, with the exact date to be confirmed, and it is hoped it will become an annual event.
“It will be an open and inclusive event and will be all about entertainment and celebration,” said Norwich Mardi Gras’ treasurer Tony Alessi.
“It is going to be very diverse, catering for all ages, for the young and the old. Among other things there will be an arena full of entertainment, a funfair, a real ale tent, a dance tent, and in the evening the main stage will come to life to showcase local performers.
“It is a free event and we hope to get the whole community involved.”
He said planning for the event was going well, and that they were now fundraising and looking for sponsors to help foot costs of about £20,000 for things such as insurance, on site security, first aiders, toilets and other items needed for the running of a big event.
In return sponsors will be featured in the Norwich Mardi Gras brochure, be included in marketing, and be able to display banners on the day.
“It is a good opportunity for people to get involved and support a big community event for Norwich,” he said, adding that they were ideally looking for a main sponsor and then sponsors for different elements of the event.
The Norwich Mardi Gras team have also been holding fundraising events and are looking for more volunteers to get involved with fundraising.
There is also an opportunity for businesses and organisations to sign up to have a stall at the September event.
The Norwich Mardi Gras has already had support from a lot of local organisations including Holiday Inn, Epic, the Catherine Wheel, The Brickmakers, and The Last Wine Barand Restaurant.
Mardi Gras is French for ‘Fat Tuesday.’ It is a reference to the tradition of eating rich, fatty foods before fasting through Lent.
It has also come to be used as a term for festivals and revelry in different parts of the world including the well-known Mardi Gras festivals in Brazil and New Orleans.
• Anybody wanting more information about sponsoring or getting involved in the event or booking a stall should call 07765 007710 or email email@example.com
• The Mardi Gras team will also be having a Mardi Gras float in Norwich’s Lord Mayor’s Procession and is in need of colourful materials, feathers and lace for costumes. Anybody who is able to donate materials or help make the costumes should contact the Norwich Mardi Gras team on the email or phone number above.
Materials can also be taken to the Catherine Wheel, in St Augustines Street, Norwich.
• Do you have a story about the arts in Norwich? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org