Carnival vibes attract 55,000 to Mayor’s Newham Show
15:58 15 July 2014
A whopping 55,000 people turned out to enjoy the 2014 Mayor’s Newham Show over the weekend at a sun-kissed Central Park.
The carnival atmosphere gripped the thousands at the free event – one of the largest of its kind in the UK – with CBBC favourite Bob the Builder kicking off the main stage performances on Saturday.
Inspired by the World Cup in Brazil, and taking place on the weekend of the final, samba rhythms and steel-drum beats provided the soundtrack for a colourful carnival parade.
More than 500 children from 17 schools and various community groups took to East Ham’s streets to showcase a diverse range of music and dancing as part of a colourful procession.
Starting from the park’s southern entrance on Rancliffe Road, the parade travelled up High Streets South and North, before heading back down Ron Leighton Way and Bartle Avenue.
Back in the park revellers were able to make the most of the glorious weather with all the fun of a British seaside holiday, with a beach, paddling pool and even donkey-rides.
Those unaffected by the heat were able to try out a range of sporty activities including the Change4Life and Disney roadshow.
Families tried their hands at a range of challenges inspired by their favourite Disney and Disney Pixar stories, from a Toy Story- inspired lasso throwing game to Frozen-inspired musical statues.
The scorching temperatures continued into day two, with many visitors opting to shelter under umbrellas to escape the heat.
Performers from Deborah Day Theatre school drew in the crowds with both their talents and their outfits with a set which comprised dancing nuns and old people as well as the more customary ballerinas.
CBeebies favourite Mr Bloom also proved popular, while Bella Kinetica’s roller skating and double trapeze acts were among the highlights in the cabaret tent.
Elsewhere there was an opportunity to discover life in the trenches by walking through a life-sized replica of a 1915 World War I trench, complete with realistic gunfire noise and smoke effects.
With the exception of the Olympic year, this was the largest ever Newham show, and the Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, hopes to continue the show for years to come.
“Every year it gets better and we are able to bring more people together,” he said. “This is the one of the last things I would cut.
“There will definitely be another Newham Show next year and we plan to continue after that, but it just depends on the size of government cuts.”