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Hereford River Carnival 2020 Is On…

…but it’s going to be an event for our current times – a Carnival like never before


  • Carnival on 4th and 5th September but not on the River!
  • Stay at home to enjoy the fun – we’ll bring the Carnival to you
  • Hereford Heads in open top bus journey around the city
  • Online activities, competitions and virtual parades


Hereford River Carnival will take place this year on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th September.  The event with its theme ‘A Blast from the Past – Hereford from the 1920s to the 2020s’ is going ahead but redesigned to keep everyone safe while bringing all the usual amounts of creative Carnival fun.

Creative director, Rebecca Huggett, explains, “There are two core elements to the re-imagined Carnival this year. First a virtual Carnival where everyone who wants to join the fun can do so online from their home and a second ‘live outdoor’ element where instead of you coming to us, we will bring the Carnival to your community.

“It’s vital that people stay in the homes or neighbourhoods.  In this way the people of Hereford can take part from their homes, in their gardens if they have them or on their street with neighbours – with appropriate social distancing”

More information about the online activities and content will be revealed over the coming weeks including workshops and fun sessions where people can discover how to make their own Carnival lantern, poster or bunting. We’re also looking at a special online nature school, Carnival cocktail making, cookery  and lots more – something for everyone.

On Carnival Day (Saturday 5th September) there will be a programme of events and ‘happenings’ on a special platform linked to our website, which local creatives, the DM Lab are developing with us. On the Friday night (4th September) there will be a virtual ‘red carpet’ event where we will premiere a short film featuring the River Wye and some famous local characters from the past 100 years.

We hope that you will all join in with these events from home by dressing up in red carpet finery on the Friday and in Carnival/vintage outfits on The Saturday – think Flapper Girls, 1940’s make do and mend, Rock ‘n Roll, Mods and Rockers, Mary Quant, Hippy’s, Disco, Punk, Glam, New Romantics or Rave! We look forward to seeing your photos and videos – be a Carnival Star and appear on our website!

For those without internet connection, we will be providing some workshop packs including instructions that will be distributed via local organisations working in the community.

The live, outdoor element will feature our Carnival heads travelling around the city on an open top bus.  We won’t tell you where or when so keep your eyes peeled and your ears open. Due to the current situation with the Corona Virus Pandemic and Government rules we are asking people to stay at home and celebrate locally – with social distancing.

The big carnival heads celebrate well-known people from the past 100 years with a connection to Hereford such as Hereford footballing legend, Ronnie Radford, adventurer Kiko Matthews and the Muppets and Yoda puppeteer, Frank Oz – look out for them on the day!

The whole event has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Hereford City Council, Arts Council England and the Communities Fund not to mention our team of artists, musicians and performers, film makers and fantastic volunteers who make this unique  event happen.

Rebecca Huggett continues, “So many events have had to be cancelled this year which has been a huge blow to all of us here in Hereford and across the country.  We want to do something that keeps the spirit of the Carnival alive and gets everyone involved – just like the River Carnival usually does –  a chance to bring people together for a celebration and some fun after what has been a difficult time for many of us.

“If anyone has an idea or would like to get involved, then please get in touch via”

For further information or images, contact Stuart Fox 07841 000431 or

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