Colourful festivities of Redbridge Carnival stop traffic

REVELLERS of all faiths descended on Redbridge Carnival this year as the party mood lasted long into the evening.

The 41-year-old festival did not disappoint as it began with a grand procession featuring Aveley twirlers, a steel pan band and the Mayor’s car leading the festivities.

Organiser Wilson Chowdhry thanked Mother Nature for the good weather holding out, which he said contributed to people staying the whole day, as opposed to for a few hours.

Bollywood sensation and model Sofia Hayat, who recently sang at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Pakistani earthquake, stole the show with a powerful performance of Earthquake song, a tribute to those caught up in the tragedy, written to raise funds for the Pakistani Flood Appeal.

Joe Browne, honorary president of Redbridge carnival, said although preparations had been very rushed, the day pulled off without a hitch.

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“This is a fantastic way to bring the community together. The highlight of the day for me was Joys Dance Academy, the children were fantastic dancers and incredibly professional.”

Mr Chowdhry was celebrating his triumph in getting the first steel pan band to play in the procession for 26 years.

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“When I began as organiser five years ago we starting searching for a steel pan band to play, it has taken us all this time to get that together, but it was so worth it.

“Five years ago when I picked up the festival it was a small event in the Prince of Wales pub car park.

“This year, we stopped the traffic as our procession moved through the streets of Ilford!”

Carnival Queen Anam Naib looked stunning in a crystal crown, flanked by two princesses Krystal Acquah and Shalean Sayani representing the diverse area of Redbridge.

Mr Chowdhry said the day was a success down to the sheer talent and positive attitude of some of the performers that saved the day.

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