Better Than Rio

Better Than Rio

150 150 Ventnor Fringe

Today’s the day – it’s carnival time! In its 127th year, Ventnor has the second oldest carnival in the country and I have witnessed thirty five of them having spent my childhood being dressed as a clown, a pirate and a little Dutch boy to name but a few, and paraded round the streets of Ventnor. This may sound like some twisted punishment but it’s all part of healthy development as a

Ventnorian child.

    These rites of passage us townsfolk go through can be a grueling physical and psychological test. I still pity my mother as I remember her dragging my brother and me around the streets in some sort of handcart, the sweltering heat causing the grease paint to run down her face as she pulled on. Or the psychological anguish of going to the costume shop only to find they had just hired out the Boo-Boo costume, and being made to parade as a frankly odd pairing of Yogi Bear and a parrot. All these things make us strong.

    I’ll be steering away from the red noses and clogs this year and taking a somewhat more restrained approach, but I’ll still be in the crowd waving and cheering as the multi-coloured pageant goes by. The Carnival still holds a special place in my heart.

    In the lead up to the carnival you’ll find me hanging out at Parkside, where there’s going to be chance to see some great music and poetry and maybe a spot of yoga too. Come join me.

    The day is a special one in the hearts of many of us here in the ‘nor. I’ve rarely seen a town that embraces the strangeness, and throws itself full force to celebrate summer. So baring these things in mind, I want you to clap and cheer and throw your tuppences with a smile as the cavalcade go by.

    In essence the carnival hasn’t changed much over the years, you’ll still experience frankly bizarre sights and sounds as the town gets its party on and takes to the streets. However, with the introduction of the Fringe this most ‘Ventnor’ of days has been extended with even more excitement.

    After the main procession has passed and you’ve waved your light saber or fairy wand to the point of arm ache, make your way down to the Observatory bar for our Fringe Carnival Party and find refreshment – the sea breeze will no doubt give you the second wind to carry you through the evening.

    So grab a drink, and be dazzled by fireworks glittering over the sea to the sounds of our resident DJs. Welcome to Ventnor.

    The children’s procession is scheduled to start at Midday and the main procession starting at 7pm.

By Matt Hitt