Brighton Carnival wants revellers to choose what they inhale on parade day.
The methods of transport used on the parade itself were the starting point for the Carnival in its sustainable development. Big carnivals such as Trinidad and Notting Hill often have hundreds of diesel and petrol powered trucks rolling slowly along on parade filling the air and the revellers’ lungs with exhaust fumes. In 2007 it was decided that the resulting health and environmental damage could not be reconciled with Brighton Carnival Association’s aims and that year all petrochecmical fuelled vehicles were banned from parade. This continued in 2008 with the colourful parade featuring Big Lemon’s chip-fat fuelled buses, a grass covered bio-diesel van towing a soundsystem pumping out soca tunes, a PPO truck with a PPO generator onboard looping crazy tunes and an electric vehicle carrying the sound for a local and talented young people?s singing group.
Brighton Carnival also uses a very Brighton invention to get the narrow streets full of sound, called the 12volt bike. A rig of rechargeable 12volt batteries is used to power a soundsystem welded to the side of a bicycle. On parade, crowds enjoy the site of the convoy of decorated bicycles pedalling next to groups of dancers in big costumes.
Lowering the carbon production of the Carnival is a big task.? It has to encompass not only parade day itself, which pulls crowds of 20,000-plus, but the build up to it too.
The carnival’s main body of work is in supporting the 20 participating community groups and schools from across the city who work hard for many months making costumes, learning instruments and creating a spectacular parade entry for the big day. Carnival artists spread the message that during making sessions keeping the 3 Rs in mind should be essential. There will be an award for the parade group who has most taken sustainability on board in the making of their entry.
On Parade Day, there will be plenty of recycling points and a crew of ‘Rangers’ ensuring they are being used correctly, food stalls and traders will be selling local produce and local eco festival Green Wave will have an area of stalls promoting local green services and businesses.
Parade Day 2009 is on Sunday 12 July, and is set to be a spectacular and exciting day and once again organisers hope the air will be clean allowing those revellers to inhale only what they want to inhale!
See the website for the line up and more details www.brightoncarnival.co.uk and don’t forget, as organisers urge come to the parade, jump up and join the party, but please leave the ‘car’ out of carnival and make your way to Middle Street and Madeira Drive by public transport, foot, bike, skateboard – think green and clean!
By Rachel at Brighton Carnival