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It’s Carnival time. Cheriton’s Strange Cargo take to the streets of Folkestone with the Annual Charivari Festival in an event that gets bigger each year….…….


The Charivari Carnival is back again this July, covering the streets of our town with a moving spectacle of colour and action.


Prepare to be amazed at the hard work and dedication that schools, children, and adults have put in to contribute to Strange Cargo's festival, which sees giant costumes in bright colours and the sound of drums marching through Folkestone.  



Based in Cheriton, Strange Cargo have been running the event for 19 years and Artistic Director Brigitte Orasinski said the event gets bigger each year: “We’ve pretty much gained new people each year involving all different schools. Its lovely to have seen children from primary grow up and still get involved now, helping out the primary schools themselves.”


In total 24 schools from across the district will be taking part this year alongside community groups and public workshop participants.  


This year's theme is World Festivals, a celebration of community festival processions from around the globe and Strange Cargo’s trained carnival artist teams have been working across the district to create the six themed sections. Capturing the vibrancy of  traditional international festivals, including the beautiful Japanese Blossom Festival, the European Bulgarian Kukeri, Italian carnival, African carnival, Rio carnival and the Mexican Day of the Dead. 


Starting from The Stade at Folkestone’s fish market before heading up the Old High Street and through Sandgate Road precinct, the carnival will also move through The Leas at West Terrace before heading to the finale point at The Leas Bandstand. 


“Charivari is a carnival, a pedestrian carnival. We took the carnivals back to the streets through the little cracks and alleys” said Brigitte. 


The parade of costumes will be joined by drumming bands and    dancers before concluding in the evening with music from the bandstand: “You’ll probably hear it before you see it, as there is a lot of drumming going on. When it begins you can feel your heart start pumping which is rather exciting.”


Live street band music on the day will include Batala Portsmouth, Beetroots, the Dhol Foundation, Maracatudo Mafua and Samba Pelo Mar Whitstable with Toot’N’Skamen headlining the finale at the Bandstand. 


Next year will be the 20th anniversary of Charivari and Brigitte hopes some more teenagers will get involved: “You don’t have to be in school to get involved, were trying to persuade older children and adults to take part, especially making big costumes. But for our 20th anniversary it would be really nice for more people to get involved.”


The Carnival and bands will travel from the Stade, up The Old High Street, through Rendezvous Street, Sandgate Road and West Terrace before finishing at the Bandstand.  



by Courtney Knowles 


Saturday 11 July @ 2pm

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