St Pauls Carnival: Thousands gather for 50th year event

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Thousands of people lined the streets of Bristol to mark the return of the St Pauls Carnival after a three-year absence.

The event, now in its 50th year, celebrates the city's African Caribbean culture and more than 1,000 people took part in the procession.

It features a number of music stages, dancing, and stalls selling food and drink.

Organisers say the carnival aims to be inclusive of every generation of the community.

"It's an event where every float, every stage, every performer and every person tells a story - and that story is how music and dance and community can bring people together," a spokesman said.

Following the last carnival in 2015, the event's future looked bleak after Bristol City Council and Arts Council England said funds were being withheld from St Pauls African Caribbean Carnival (SPACC) "with immediate effect".

Then, in a statement, the council said its funding criteria included a carnival, but SPACC had failed to deliver one in 2015 and had no "clear plans" for 2016.

The festival was then not held for three years.

The St Pauls Carnival Community Interest Company (CIC) was formed in February 2017 "to help create a stable and sustainable future for the iconic event".

As well as "engaging and inspiring people socially and artistically", the CIC is working with local people to increase economic benefits to the community.

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