Heritage Compass banner

Leeds West Indian Carnival Arts and Cultural Centre

Leeds West Indian Carnival Arts and Cultural Centre

Leeds West Indian Carnival is Europe’s longest running authentic Caribbean carnival parade – the first to feature all three essential elements of Caribbean Carnival, costumes, music and a masquerade procession.

Started in 1967 as an antidote to the yearning for the Caribbean culture and heritage of a group of West Indian students in Leeds, 2017 marked the milestone 50th anniversary of Leeds West Indian Carnival. Half a century later and still led by pioneer founding member Arthur France, they are proud to be one of the North’s biggest and most adored annual events.

Today it is the perfect blend of jaw-dropping costumes, infectious tropical rhythms, mouth watering food, Caribbean Culture and entertainment for everyone. Held annually on the last Monday in August, every year the anticipation for this stunning display of colour and sheer joy that winds its way through the streets of Leeds, builds with events that present the best of carnival culture. The 2019 Leeds carnival involved 2,000 dancers with 50,000 feathers, 20,000 sequins and 5,000 metres of costume material!