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Bishop's Stortford carnival fun day: Who's performing in Sworder's Field and when

By Paul Winspear

London School of Samba (12090332)
London School of Samba (12090332)

A flavour of the world-famous Rio Carnival comes to Stortford on Saturday (June 15) as the town’s own community carnival will feature spectacular dancing, drumming and dazzling costumes.

The theme of this year's Bishop's Stortford Carnival Parade & Funday is ‘Around the World’ – and there is a distinctly international feel to the arena entertainment that the town council has lined up for Sworder’s Field throughout the afternoon (see foot of this article for timetable).

The carnival procession sets off from Rhodes Arts Complex at 12.30pm and the various floats, vehicles and walking groups will make their way along South Street, Potter Street, Market Square, North Street and Northgate End, arriving at Link Road and the entrance to Castle Park at about 1.20pm. Rolling road closures will be in place.

The fun day element at Sworder's Field – which starts at 12 noon and finishes at 5pm – features entertainment influenced by Brazil, Bolivia, India and China.

And the weather forecast for carnival day in Stortford is... very little chance of rain! According to the Met Office, after a sunny start cloud will increase through the day, and it will be overcast for the last hour of the fun day, but there is only a 10% chance of rain.

The Met Office forecast for Bishop's Stortford on carnival day (12345657)
The Met Office forecast for Bishop's Stortford on carnival day (12345657)

Dancers and drummers from the London School of Samba, who have appeared on TV’s Strictly Come Dancing and at the Notting Hill Carnival, will show off their skills.

The South American showcase continues with Mi Viejo San Simon, from Bolivia, demonstrating caporales dance, while Dhol Division will add Bollywood and Bhangra beats.

Visitors will also be able to try Brazilian drumming with Garden City Samba while the Shaolin Warriors UK will astound with their kung fu fitness.

Thanks to Coda Falconry, visitors will be able to have their picture taken with an Egyptian lanner falcon, a saker falcon from the Middle East and a South American Harris’s hawk, while Essex Reptile Encounters has a host of weird and wonderful creatures to show off.

Closer to home, there will be entertainment by The Busking 5 from Bishop’s Stortford College, magician Martin Cox, Bishop’s Stortford Ukulele Society, The Bishop’s Stortford Band, Grove Cottage Performing Arts Club, Jenny Myhill School of Dance and Performing Arts, Isamar Martins Zumba, Hip Hop Pop, Hanako Ward, St Michael’s CofE Primary School, KBD Dance, Pauline Quirke Academy and Belly Belles.

The perimeter of Sworder's Field will be lined with more than 100 stalls manned by representatives of a variety of local clubs, charities and community groups – including the Bishop's Stortford Climate Group with its climate emergency campaign – as well as food and drink vendors. There will be information about the Waterside Stortford trail.

Away from land, there will be a flotilla of decorated riverboats on the Stort.


12.00 Garden City Samba

12.30 Dhol Division

12.50 Coda Falconry flying demonstration

1.30 Dhol Division

1.40 Shaolin Warriors UK

2.00 Mayor's welcome by Cllr Norma Symonds

2.05 London School of Samba

2.25 Dhol Division

2.45 Coda Falconry flying demonstration

3.25 Mi Viejo San Simon Bolivian dancers

3.50 The Mayor's Community Games

4.30 Shaolin Warriors UK

4.55 Prize-giving and farewell


12.00-5.00 Essex Reptile Encounters

1.30-2.30 and 3.45-4.45 Coda Falconry “Hold a Bird of Prey”

1.45-3.45 Bubbly Heaven Bubble Show


12.00 The Busking 5

12.30 Magician Martin Cox

1.00 Bishop's Stortford Ukulele Society

1.30 Bishop's Stortford Band

2.05 Grove Cottage Performing Arts Club

2.15 The Jenny Myhill School of Dance and Performing Arts

2.30 Isamar Martins Zumba

2.55 Hip Hop Pop

3.20 Hanako Ward

3.30 St Michael's CofE Primary School

3.45 KBD Dance

4.15 Pauline Quirke Academy Bishop's Stortford

4.30 Belly Belles

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