Govanhill Carnival: A vibrant and unique celebration of diversity

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Govanhill is set to come alive next week as the second Govanhill Carnival returns.

The event will bring the area’s diverse communities together for a celebration of its unique community.

The first Govanhill Carnival took place in 2017 as an approach to combating racism whilst celebrating diversity.

It was opened by Nicola Sturgeon and involved gigs, a parade and a carnival. It was a fantastic success, and this year has grown into an 11-day extravaganza of events.

Over the 11 days, venues across the area will host music, film, history talks, and family activities to celebrate one of Scotland’s most diverse areas.

The official launch takes place on Thursday, August 16, and will be opened by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Eva Bolander.

The Carnival Parade on Saturday, August 18, will see a wide variety of entertainment for all ages to enjoy.

Organiser Ruby Hirsch said: “This years carnival will be opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who also opened the first carnival last year. “The carnival parade will be a vibrant celebration of the diversity of Govanhill, as community groups, musicians, dancers, jugglers, Chinese lion dancers, pipe bands, brass bands and more weave and dance their way through the streets.

“The parade will be followed by the carnival which will see performances from Taiko drummers, Venezuelan dancers, Afghan dancers, a Kurdish oud player and much more.

“There will be loads of activities for kids, karaoke in the park, turban tying demonstrations and fantastic food and stalls.”

Ruby continued: “Another highlight will be the Children’s Kite Festival and Community Sports Day, where children will make and fly Afghan kites, whilst you can get involved in a giant human foosball game, soft archery, a bike skills track and other sports activities.

“It’s been challenging but exciting and rewarding. So many local groups are contributing in imaginative and creative ways. It’s been brilliant to see the festival take shape and grow.”

It is the diversity, however, you define it, that makes Govanhill great, as Ruby explains.

“Here in Govanhill it is so important that we bring people together to say that we are proud of the diversity of our community and of the role that migrants play in society,” she said. “We want to celebrate all the great things about living in Govanhill, the most diverse community in the UK outside of London.

“I think having a vibrant carnival showcasing the amazing culture and talent of so many different groups in Govanhill and bringing thousands of people together to enjoy a fantastic day of fun and unity, is a brilliant way to take on racism and division.

“No matter what our background, we’re all Govanhillians, let’s celebrate our unique community with pride!”