Butetown Carnival returns after 16 years

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Media captionArchive footage of the parade in August 1995.

It was a colourful and noisy summer highlight but the Butetown Carnival has been missing from the streets of Cardiff for 16 years.

Now the event is to return - and in no small way thanks to social media.

More than 2,000 signed up to Facebook within hours of the 2014 carnival's page going live, giving organisers of real hope of a big local response.

The Wales Millennium Centre is to provide acoustic and main stages for music and theatre next Monday.

"The carnival holds a special place in all of our hearts," said chair of the organising committee Simon Campbell.

"It reminds us of what a close community we were and I know this will bring us closer yet again."

Image caption Colourful costumes from the carnival in August 1995
Image caption This year's carnival will bring in pop-up poetry, theatre and a huge flash-mob

The carnival started in the mid-1960s and became a key date in the community's calendar.

It survived big changes in Butetown, as regeneration began in and around it, with tens of thousands attending the parade in its hey-day.

But in 1998 it came to a halt for a combination of reasons, including competition from other festivals in the city.

The decision to revive the carnival was taken last year, responding to local calls.

Image caption The carnival was 'made by the community and is for the community' said one local activist
Image caption A New Orleans-style band bringing music along Bute Street 19 years ago

"We decided to just do it and not wait for yet another year," said Carrole Fox, general manager at Butetown Community Centre.

"We know the carnival will be great this year, but we're also aware that this is a journey so we'll continue to build on it each and every year, so we can bring it back to its former glory."

Big name neighbour, the Wales Millennium Centre, is now a partner of the carnival.

Performances will include jazz, blues, reggae and ska - music which has been the backbeat in Butetown for generations.

The traditional parade starts at 14:00 BST on 25 August from Loudoun Square to open the event.

Image caption The parade linked Butetown with the city

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