Virtual Cowley Road Carnival Day

Sunday 5 July

By David Henwood

Cowley Road Carnival is virtually set to go ahead on Sunday 5 July with a packed line up of performers and activities. A traditional Carnival Day – online! The organisers are asking for donations, and this year the fundraising effort will be split between three Cowley Road charities: Oxfordshire Mind, Restore and Cowley Road Works.

Clare O’Hara, director of Cowley Road Works, the charity which organises the annual Carnival says: “We are totally thrilled to be going ahead with Virtual Carnival Day Live on 5 July. We have an amazing line up of musicians, dancers, performers, and activities for you to watch – and most importantly – to join in with!

“We always ask for donations and this year we are splitting the funds raised with Oxfordshire Mind and Restore. We work closely with both organisations which are based on the Cowley Road. In this most challenging of times, with so many people struggling and needing mental health support, we are delighted to help. We urge anyone who enjoys this unique Virtual Carnival Day to donate if you can. We have donate buttons on the website and you can go straight to the fundraiser at JustGiving. “

Lesley Dewhurst CEO of Restore says: “All of us at Restore are completely thrilled to be part of this year’s Virtual Carnival. For many years, Restore’s Garden Cafe has been a popular Carnival venue. Known as an “Oasis of Calm”, we’ve been proud to offer a space that pays attention to everyone’s mental health – somewhere to relax, unwind and reflect on the colours and excitement of the street Carnival. We hope that, even if only remotely, we can offer a little slice of that at this year’s Carnival.”  

Adam Clayton, City Locality Manager for Oxfordshire Mind says: “Over the last few years, the members and staff at The Mill, one of the Wellbeing Hubs run by Oxfordshire Mind, have taken part in the Cowley Road Carnival’s procession which is the highlight of East Oxford’s largest cultural event. The preparation for this, which has involved working with Artists and even Oxford University’s Department of Physics, has been very enriching and enjoyable for our service users. Being in the procession really does put us at the heart of the community and enables us to raise awareness of the great work Oxfordshire Mind does across the county that means so much to so many. Although the carnival will look very different this year, we are thrilled to continue to be part of such a great occasion. If you’re able to, making a donation will make a real difference in supporting local charities like ourselves in Oxfordshire.”

Virtual Carnival Day

The packed programme features Quatermelon, Little Brother Eli, Patrick Griffin, Sarah Derrick alongside Carnival favourites Sol Samba, Horns of Plenty, Ran Kan Kan and Count Skylarkin’ and much, much more.  

Autumn Neagle, who usually manages the line-up of performers at the Restore Garden is organising a Virtual Chill Out Zone featuring a lyrical journey through one day in lockdown from dawn to dusk featuring a colourful and talented array of friends, collaborators and past carnival performers, to raise funds and awareness for Mind, Restore and Cowley Road Works.

Find out more about Virtual Carnival Day and tune from 11 am via the website Follow and engage on social media Facebook, Twitter @CowleyCarnval and Instagram #Cowleyroadcarnival #virtualcarnival #carnivalathome[CaDO1] [sa2]  for more details.

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