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Dragons and Mythical Beasts at Plymouth’s West End Carnival

Monday, June 24

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Roll up! Roll up! Get ready to be swept off your feet at this year’s West End Carnival in Plymouth, where magic and adventure await.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 24, as we celebrate the Year of the Dragon with a jam-packed day of FREE family entertainment.

Come and join in for all the sights, sounds and smells of the carnival in the vibrant West End of Plymouth City Centre.

This year’s theme is Dragons and Mythical Beasts, so we’ll be introducing you to Ash the dragon, who will join our dazzling carnival parade. 

Brought to you by the award-winning Experiences Group (https://www.experiencesgroup.co.uk/), Ash and his baby dragons will be joined by the Crooked Tempo Samba Band, Plymouth Dance groups, stilt-walkers, circus performers, puppets, Taiko drummers and community groups.

Crooked Tempo will get you in the carnival mood at Frankfort Gate, leading the parade up New George Street at 11am to the Piazza where our dragons will join in, before making their way down Cornwall Street and back to Frankfort Gate for 12pm with a packed programme of live entertainment on the main stage.

Inside Plymouth Market you will find free face painting, princess and superhero characters, as well as a huge range of delicious food and drink stalls and independent shopping. Outside the streets will be lined with street food vendors with tastes from around the world.

And it wouldn’t be a carnival without our West End businesses joining in with many setting up outdoor stalls or putting on their own activities or special offers. City Centre businesses can book a free stall.

The carnival is part-funded by the government via the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Steve Hughes, chief executive of the Plymouth City Centre Company which organises the event, said: “The carnival just gets better and more popular every year and we hope people will get creative and make their own dragon costumes and come and join in the parade.

“We started the carnival to support our businesses, so we want as many people as possible to come down and see just what the West End has to offer.”

Prior to the event, there are opportunities to learn the parade dance movements with members of Plymouth Dance and make parade props with members of Plymouth & Devon Racial Equality Council at workshops across the city.

These are open to everyone and details can be found at West End Carnival – Visit Plymouth or by emailing westendcarnivalparade@gmail.com.

New for this year is a spectacular and electrifying carnival preview event the night before at the Moxy Hotel Plymouth, where we’ll be igniting your weekend with a blast of colour, music, and mythical magic!

  • Groove to the beat of local artists, setting up the perfect vibe to kickstart your carnival weekend.
  • Witness a mesmerising Dragon Pre-Performance featuring majestic dragons, who promise to ignite your Bank Holiday Friday night.
  • Sip on specially crafted Signature Cocktails and Mocktails at our Bar. Whether you’re a cocktail connoisseur or prefer beer on-draught, we’ve got you covered!

Upcoming events

Wednesday, July 17
Untitled design (13)
Bringing together four distinct painters – Bernadette Kerrigan, Chris Martin, Daniel Pettitt, and EJ Hauser – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today explores the formal and informal ways each of them make sense of the world through paint.
Saturday, July 20
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Hettie Judah, writer and exhibition curator, shares insights from her research for her book, Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood which explores the joys, messes, myths and mishaps of parenting through visual culture.
Wednesday, July 24
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Take a deeper lunchtime look into ‘The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure’.
Saturday, July 27
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Come and immerse yourselves in an exhibition that explores pivotal moments in Plymouth’s past and present relationship with the sea.

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