Spirit of Rio comes to the streets of Royston for this weekend’s arts festival

Girls from Year 6 at Greneway School making headdresses for the carnival at Royston Arts Festival.

Girls from Year 6 at Greneway School making headdresses for the carnival at Royston Arts Festival. - Credit: Archant

With just four days to go until this year’s Royston Arts Festival, there certainly is a buzz in the air.

The event, its tenth since the festival started up again in 2006, runs from Friday, September 23 to Sunday, September 25 and will see Royston town centre transformed into a sea of colour fit for the streets of Rio as this year’s theme comes straight out of the South American city.

One of the big attractions of the weekend is the carnival procession starting on Saturday at 1pm.

Schools and community clubs will make their way around the Priory Memorial Gardens, led by Garden City Samba.

There will also be live music and a craft fair in the gardens for people to enjoy during the afternoon.

Organiser Creative Royston’s chairperson Claire Somerville said: “We are hoping to get lots of people joining in the carnival procession, which forms a really exciting part of this community arts event.

“We’ll have Garden City Samba leading the way, as well as Standon Morris Side and dancers from GStars Performing Arts School adding their own unique contributions to this walking procession.

Most Read

“We are giving away free flags and kazoos to people who want to join in and we encourage everyone to get into the carnival spirit by dressing up in bright clothes and getting crafty with home-made masks, head-dresses or costumes.”

One of the schools taking part is Royston’s Greneway Middle School.

“The build-up to the Royston Arts Festival is always an exciting time in school,” said headteacher Laura Rawlings.

“Our pupils are eagerly anticipating the procession and finale concert.

“Royston School Academy Trust is always looking for additional opportunities to extend pupils’ creative talents and ‘showcase’ our work to the wider community and the Arts Festival is an excellent opportunity.” -

Groups who want to get involved will need to allocate some time before the festival to plan and create their carnival-themed costumes to wear for the procession and organise how they will manage their group on the day.

Those arriving to take part should make their way to the side of St John’s Church at 12.30pm.

“The Community Arts Event is a key event for Creative Royston as part of Royston Arts Festival,” Claire added.

“We want to help create a vibrant focal point for the festival on the Saturday, from which people will also explore the other events going on around the town, such as the photography and arts exhibitions in the town hall.”

On Sunday, there will be live music across venues across the town as part of Royston MusicFest ‘16 – which is sure to see the festival go out in style.

For a carnival resource pack to inspire your procession costume, email chair@creativeroyton.org.

For a full list of the weekend’s activities go to www.creativeroyston.org.