Northampton Carnival set to move again…but organisers say it will still be ‘spectacular’

Northampton Carnival organisers have been told they will have to change venues for the third year in a row – but they still plan a “spectacular display”.

In 2014 Northampton Borough Council told the organising committee they could not use their usual venue of Delapre Park to water drainage problems. That year it was moved to Far Cotton Rec just two weeks before the event and in 2015 it was moved again to Abington Park.

This year, the organisers had hoped it could stay put in Abington.

But they have been told the event will have to be held at the Racecourse, which means they will have to re-draw the carnival route for the third year in a row.

Chair Morcea Walker, of the Northampton Carnival Arts Consortium, says the organisers are trying to remain positive, though she fears the event could cause greater disruption to Kettering Road when the floats exit the Racecourse.

She said: “We are taking on the challenge – we have to park up the fact we will not be on Abington Park and just work with the fact we are on the Racecourse.”

In response, leader of Northampton borough Council, Councillor Mary Markham, (Con, Park) said: “In recent years the carnival has been held at Delapre Park and Abington Park. We believe that the carnival should be shared around all areas of the town to enable all communities to have the opportunity to take part.

“We take on board that the carnival committee would like a permanent home and have agreed to evaluate this at the end of this year’s carnival so that all options can be considered for the future.”

The theme for the 2016 carnival will be “five continents”, representing the five Olympic rings and Mrs Walker said the committee was looking for caterers from around the globe to provide food on the day, Saturday, June 11.

Local bands and musicians can also apply to play on the main stage at the Racecourse, which will be headlined by reggae act the Mystic Crew.

“This year can be really spectacular,” said Mrs Walker.

“We just want as many people to come down, whatever the weather.”

“We want a beautiful parade, with beautiful floats and beautiful troupes.”

The final route will be revealed in the coming weeks.

A costume workshop will be held at the Deco Theatre in Abington Square, Northampton, on March 19.

For details on the workshop or to play on the main stage email the committee on

Subscribe to our newsletter