Tag Archives: Mardi Gras

IW Mardi Gras 2018: A global celebration!

The New Carnival Company is set to launch the narrative for the annual Isle of Wight Mardi Gras at a celebration event at Ryde Academy Studio Theatre on Thursday 16th November at 17:30.

The IW Mardi Gras always adopts a relevant and educational theme allowing school and community groups to undertake a programme of research and learning prior to designing, producing and performing spectacular carnival costumes. Themes in recent years have included ‘Shakespeare 400’ commemorating  the anniversary of the passing of the Bard and ‘Reflections of India’ celebrating the links between the Island, Queen Victoria and India on the 70th anniversary of the country’s independence.

In 2018 the theme will be ‘Global Biospheres’ and will be produced to support the IW Area of Outstanding Beauty’s application to have the Island recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Richard Grogan, AONB Lead Officer explained “The aim of Biospheres is to showcase on a global stage an area where communities are finding ways to bring together the conservation of the stunning places in which they live with the continuing sustainable use of those areas. If we are successful in our campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognised, the reward is international recognition through the formal UNESCO Biosphere designation which puts us up there with Mount Olympus in Greece, Mata Atlantica Rain Forest in Brazil and Yellowstone National Park, USA.  We want to tell the Island about this and working with the New carnival Company on their 2018 Mardi Gras theme seemed an ideal opportunity”

In 2018 the Mardi Gras will be exploring in detail some of the 635 reserves across the globe of which there are only two in England. Then in the following year we will be looking at the Isle of Wight itself for our creative inspiration.

Frankie Goldspink, Creative Director for the NCC added “We are delighted to be working with the AONB on the prestigious project. Groups taking part will be supported to understand what the fantastic opportunities being recognised as a UNESCO Global Biosphere mean and then to work with us in a creative programme to make and showcase spectacular costumes”

Representatives from the AONB and the IW Music Hub, who are supporting Mardi Gras 2018, will also be presenting at the launch event to explain other opportunities to get involved this exciting project.

Any school, youth or community group wanting to take part in the event in 2018 is encouraged to attend the launch meeting or register an interest with the NCC on 01983 716095 or frankie@thenewcarnivalcompany.com.

The Isle of Wight Mardi Gras: ‘Global Biospheres’ will take place on Saturday 30th June, 3pm on the streets of Ryde.  The project is already attracting international attention.

Notes to Editor

  1. The New Carnival Company CIC (The NCC) is the leading carnival arts development agency in the south of England. The NCC is proud to be part of Arts Council’s England’s (ACE) National portfolio, a kite mark for Quality and Innovation in the arts.
  2. The Isle of Wight Mardi Gras was formerly known as the Arts Parade and began in 2003 with the aim of encouraging and supporting more schools and youth organisations to get involved in the creative side of carnival. Today it is the leading young people’s carnival in the south of England.
  3. Mardi Gras translates as Fat Tuesday from the French and celebrates the last day of feasting and merriment before the traditional Christian period of Lent. The word Carnival is Latin for Farewell to Meat, also referring to festivities held at that time. Many of the famous carnivals in the world including Rio Carnival, Trinidad Carnival, Venice Carnival and New Orleans Mardi Gras take place in February on Pancake Day.

Press contact: chris@thenewcarnivalcompany.com


The 2017 Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea (June 23 to July 9)

Some of the UK’s top bloggers from from britmums.com, london-unattached.com, bestbitsworldwide.com and vickyflipfloptravels.com, joined Director of Discover Ferries Bill Gibbons and CEO of Visit Isle of Wight David Thornton in the new Signature Lounge on board Red Osprey to celebrate National Ferry Fortnight (6-20 May) and launch the countdown to the Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea today (Friday 12 May).

The Bloggers were on the Island to learn about what’s great for families this year, and experience the Solent crossing during National Ferry Fortnight, a country-wide promotion taking place this month. The Bloggers were briefed about the Island’s main themes and  campaigns and introduced to new festivals taking place this summer, including Isle of Wight Pride (15th July), and the Isle of Wight Festival of Running (2nd to 4th June).

The Isle of Wight’s annual Festival of the Sea this year sets sail on June 23, for a voyage that will last until July 9, and with the range of nautical festivities – including a pirate festival on golden sands, delicious seafood fresh off the boat, and spectacular yachting extravaganzas featuring thousands of boats.

Now in its 5th year, the Festival of the Sea was created by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) to celebrate the Island’s maritime history, heritage and holiday appeal.

Highlights for 2017 include:

Pirate Plunder at Blackgang Chine

24th and 25th June & 1st & 2nd July

They will be hoisting the Jolly Roger to give young scallywags the chance to join a Scurvy Crew at Blackgang Chine, where there will be opportunities to learn how to sword fight like a true Blackgang Buccaneer and take part in the smugglers’ next treasure hunt.

Challenge the Wight

24th June

A strenuous 26.5-mile hike/run across the Isle of Wight at night.  It’s a chance to walk from the Needles Landmark Attraction to Yaverland to raise money for Challenge & Adventure a local charity that helps disadvantaged and challenging young people on the Isle of Wight.  A ‘lite’ route (12 miles) or kids route (4 miles) is also available.

Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay New Zealand

1st July

This most famous of annual yacht races, and the largest of its kind in the world, regularly attracts entries exceeding 1,500 yachts and upwards of 12,000 sailors racing the 50 nautical miles westabout course around the Isle of Wight, starting and finishing in Cowes.

Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra present “Carnival at Sea”

1st July

A ‘Carnival at Sea’ by the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra at Medina Theatre, from 7:15pm.  This family friendly concert will celebrate the Islands strong links with the sea – with a programme that includes Rule Britannia and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Mardi Gras Parade in Ryde

1st July

A day-long carnival event by the sea.  Take advantage of a free day of fun and celebration with a parade and festival featuring over 1000 children and young people in fabulous carnival costumes.

Shipwreck Isle 2017, Appley Beach, Ryde

2nd July

Ahoy there!  Join in a thrilling pirate festival set on a spectacular beach, on an enchanted isle.  Expect live pirate music, cannon and firearms demonstrations, stunt action sword fights, young pirate’s entertainment and much, much more skullduggery.

Panerai British Classic Week 2017

6th – 13th July

The Classic Week, now in its 11th year takes place in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight.  Since 2010, it is the only UK regatta forming part of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge series, the leading international circuit for classic and vintage yachts.  Social events included as part of the week include an Open Yachts Pontoon Party on the July 9; a Themed Crew Party – “Pirates of Penzance”- on July 10; a prize giving Gala Dinner on the July 12 and the famous Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron on the final day, July 13.

The Edinburgh Cup and South Coast Championship, Cowes

9th – 15th July

A Regatta for the International Dragon fleet.  Designed in 1929, the International Dragon combines classic elegance with grand prix performance, the world’s greatest sailing venues and some of the best sailors from around the globe.  One of the Dragon fleet’s most prestigious trophies is the Edinburgh Cup which was presented to the class in 1949 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and is awarded annually to the winner of the International Dragon British Open Championship.

For full details of these and other Festival of the Sea events, visit https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/events/festival-of-the-sea.

Festival of the Sea leaflets will be available from Island tourist information points and ferry terminals from Monday 22nd May.

For further tourist information, and accommodation details, visit https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.


For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson

Tel: 07766 705672

Email: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to Editors

The attached image shows David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight (far right) with bloggers from london-unattached.com, britmums.com, bestbitsworldwide.com and vickyflipfloptravels.com, joined by Bill Gibbons (third right) from National Ferry Fortnight at the launch of the Festival of the Sea brochure.  The image was taken in the new Signature Lounge on board Red Funnel’s vessel, Red Falcon.

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

Have a fun-filled weekend on the Isle of Wight with Wightlink Ferries this 27-28 June

Return Wightlink car ferry travel and 2 nights camping from £16.95 per person per night*

This June, visitors to the Isle of Wight will have the most fun-packed weekend ever – with five family-friendly events taking place across the Island on the 27 and 28 of the month.  From pirate-themed adventures and carnival parades, to getting up close to small farm animals or watching boat races from treetops, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

For parents looking to entertain young scallywags and get away for a weekend break before the summer rush, Wightlink Ferries has teamed up with Nodes Point Holiday Park, offering return car ferry travel and two night’s camping on a non-electric camping pitch for just £16.95 per person*.  Families who do not own a tent will not be left shipwrecked either. Nodes Point offers ready to use tents with all equipment provided, except sleeping bags, and has partnered with Wightlink to offer return car ferry travel and three night’s stay in one of these tents for up to six people from just £30 per person**.


Located near Bembridge, just over 2 miles away from the Appley Beach where Shipwreck Isle will take place (see below), Nodes Point Holiday Park boasts unbeatable views of sandy beaches and direct access to St. Helens Beach, as well as an indoor fun pool for kids to splash about. And, with action-packed activities and an all-weather multi sports court, there is plenty to keep the family entertained.

To book these late deals please visit: www.park-resorts.com or call: 0843 5611188.

Shipwreck Isle

On the 28 June 2015, a new event arrives on Appley Beach near Ryde on the Isle of Wight. “Shipwreck Isle” will bring swashbuckling fun for all during this day-long pirate-themed extravaganza, and Wightlink Ferries can take you there. From 11am-6pm, this latest edition to the Isle of Wight’s event calendar will make a seadog out of all visitors. Stunt action sword-fighting, cannon and firearms demonstrations, live pirate music, and Blackbeard’s Market are all on the agenda, as well as a special “Pirates of the Caribbean” Village on the beach for landlubbers to enjoy.

Round the Island Yacht Race

The annual J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race returns to the Isle of Wight on the 27 June 2015. The race is one of the biggest yacht races in the world and attracts over 1,700 boats and 16,000 sailors each year, so families have plenty to watch throughout the day as the boast complete the 50 nautical mile coast. With all the great vantage points dotted around the Island, families can take in the race whilst enjoying a picnic and the fresh Island air.

Tree Boating

Goodleaf tree climbing has the perfect day out activity for those looking to add some adventure to their Round the Island Yacht Race experience. On Saturday 27 June, Goodleaf will rig up the giant oak for a two hour tree boating climbing experience, offering a bird’s eye view of the Race as it reaches Ryde. After learning the ropes, families will ascend into the canopy to relax in a tree boat and take in the views from this unique viewpoint. Priced from £39 for adults and £29 for children (aged 8-17).

Isle of Wight County Show

On the 27 June the Isle of Wight County Show provides an agricultural day out for all the family. Bringing all the attractions of a traditional country show, such as falconry, locally produced food, pole climbing, small animal farm and much more, the show offers visitors to the Island the opportunity to see some of the Island’s best farm animals. Priced from £8 for adults and children under 16 go free.

Mardi Gras

This year 25 schools are set to take part in the Mardi Gras parade on the 27 June. From 6pm the carnival will take to the streets of Ryde to depict the history of British democracy from 1215 to the present day. Spectators can watch this spectacular parade as it makes its way through Ryde showcasing a variety of bright costumes and floats all designed with the ‘Magna Carta Masquerade’ theme in mind.


Wightlink’s convenient foot and car passenger services means families don’t have to travel far to feel a million miles away. Families travelling by car can enjoy frequent services from Portsmouth or Lymington that transfer them to the Island in just 40 minutes. Alternatively, those travelling from London on foot can board one of the many regular trains heading to Portsmouth, directly opposite the Catamaran terminal, prior to hopping on board the Catamaran for a brief 20 minute journey to the Island with easy onward bus and train connections on the other side.

With so much fun to be had, you’d be a scurvy ridden sea dog to miss it!

*based on a family of four travelling and staying from 26-28 June 2015. Subject to availability. Ferry travel valid for one car of up to 6m in length.

** based on a family of six travelling and staying from 26-29 June 2015. Subject to availability. Ferry travel valid for one car of up to 6m in length.




For more information about Wightlink Ferries, please contact:

Sophy Norris               01392 248 934            sophy.norris@flagshipconsulting.co.uk
Belinda Hallworth        0207 680 7114            belinda.hallworth@flagshipconsulting.co.uk
Nadia Fidler                0207 680 7122           nadia.fidler@flagshipconsulting.co.uk


Wightlink – Part of Island Life


Wightlink is the leading cross-Solent ferry operator carrying almost five million holidaymakers and Islanders across the Solent to the Isle of Wight every year. Nine ferries on three routes provide Island-wide coverage and complete 48,000 sailings a year giving Islanders an easy and frequent service to the mainland, and tourists an accessible way to enjoy a taste of Island life.


You can step off the train from London, hop on a Wightlink catamaran and be on the Island in just 22 minutes, the car ferries take around 40 minutes from Portsmouth and Lymington. On board, passengers and drivers alike can relax in the lounges and enjoy some refreshments before arriving on the Island to enjoy the range of attractions, events and experiences that make the Isle of Wight a leading destination for tourists.


The opening of the Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey has cut journey times to Portsmouth from Greater London. By contrast, Wightlink’s port at Lymington is reached by an attractive drive through the scenic New Forest.





Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15.


Day Return: Car + 7 passengers from £43.75* Short Breaks (2-4 nights): Car + 7 passengers from £54.25**

*Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 and returning 06/05/15.

** Terms & Conditions apply, subject to availability, valid for sailings 08:00 – 09:59 and 16:00 – 17:59. Price based on outward journey crossing 06/05/15 returning between 08/05/15 and 10/05/15.


Book Early, Be Flexible, Save Money


More information can be found at www.wightlink.co.uk


Nadia Fidler
Flagship Consulting Limited

DDI: +44 20 7680 7122
T: +44 20 7680 7104

Flagship Consulting Ltd
Coppergate House
16 Brune Street
London E1 7NJ