Christchurch is a beautiful part of Dorset, home to the majestic Priory church, historic castle ruins and tranquil Quay and Quomps, where children fly their kites, visitors explore the coastline by boat and locals enjoy the most idyllic lunch breaks. But, while on the surface it may seem a peaceful retreat, Christchurch also knows how to throw a mean event! The Christchurch Carnival takes place with plenty of attractions, entertainment and, of course, a colourful street parade that has brought people to the town from far and wide for over a century.
Christchurch Quay will host a full day (10am – 10pm) of family fun with stalls, attractions, food and drink stands, entertainment and a thrilling fireworks finale to mark the start of this eagerly-anticipated annual event.
Then on the Sunday it’s time for the carnival parade, where local clubs, businesses, causes and individuals assemble to proudly march, sing and dance their way through the town. The procession is absolutely free to join and always sets a fun theme. In 2017 it was the turn of the ‘movies’ – any guesses what it might be for next year? One lucky entrant from the throng is crowned the Carnival Star and given the important task of leading the whole procession. There is also a Best Float competition, with a top prize of £100 and runners-up prizes of £60 and £40 up for grabs.
Everyone wishing to take part in the procession must register online and gather at the Two Riversmeet car park at 1pm for the 2pm start. From Two Riversmeet the parade travels down Stony Lane, Bridge Street and Castle Street, onto the High Street, down Sopers Lane and finishes at The Quomps. There is also another day of fun on the Quay from 11am to 4pm on the Sunday of the Carnival weekend.