What better way to kick off the 2016 festival season than with Hanwell Carnival? Probably the oldest, continuous carnival in London and definitely the second largest after Notting Hill, Hanwell Carnival began in the late 1890s as a way to raise funds for the Cottage Hospital.
The huge news is that the 2016 event is going to be even bigger and better – expanding into another field. The main stages, beer, and food will be at the back, and the fairground, children’s attractions, dog show, acoustic tent, and all the stalls will stay in the main section. There is also a sports zone run for the first time by Brentford FC and Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club, where there will be football and rugby as well as Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, and dodge ball.
The theme this year is ‘The Fairytale of Hanwell’, and with the morning parade to kick off proceedings including floats such as ‘Hanwell and Gretel’ and ‘CinderWella’, it’s definitely a spectacle not to be missed. As well as excellent floats, the carnival has also been known to attract famous film stars. Herbie the Love Bug, a self-driving VW Beetle with a mind of his own, has featured in several huge Disney films and will be joining the parade again this year before being around in the park all afternoon.
It now annually attracts over 30,000 visitors, and is organised entirely by volunteers in a coordinated community effort. It’s not too late to get involved either, they are still looking for volunteers on Saturday to work in short 90 minute shifts, in the animal zone, on the go-karts, and in the bar. They’re also looking for a couple of extra helpers in the Community Centre for the parade, any time between 8:00 and 10:00am. If you’d like to get stuck in and join this herculean community effort and volunteer a small amount of your time, let the Hanwell Carnival team know that you’re available to help over at their Facebook page.
For a full list of the numerous day’s events and activities, you can view the programme online here.
It promises to be a really great day with so much to see and do, we can’t wait!