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The Carnival Kicks on in Luton

England | Luton | Travel Tips 0 No Comments


Thirty miles north of London, Luton may not seem to have much that can compete with the British capital; yet it has several things going for it.

Luton International Carnival

Hula hula at Luton International Carnival

The first thing that comes to mind is Luton International Carnival. The carnival was initiated in 1976 as a modest Victorian street celebration, but it rather quickly expanded into a major, internationally recognized event, which has attracted between 150,000 and 200,000 partyers in recent years.

In 2013 it scaled back a bit due to budget concerns, and the Luton Borough Council’s description of their proud event reflects a somberness and sober reality. But in spite of all of this, it is a major event and a wonderful way to experience a bit of British street celebration if you are visiting in May. If you are staying in Luton, it would be an astounding shame to miss it, but even if you are in London – or anywhere in southern England – at the right time, it is worth a short journey over to the borough for a thoroughly fun time.

Luton International Carnival Costumes

Dragonish Carnival Costumes

The festive procession begins at Wardown Park, a fine destination in itself, and makes its way through the streets to St. George’s Square. In the square, the entrants perform for judges in the carnival competition. In addition to the competition in the square, there is a main stage for performance in Wardown Park. Visitors can expect a variety of live music performance, including DJ’s, as well as stilt walkers, samba and masquerade troupes, and a conglomeration of arts and culture displays, suggesting what Luton has to offer throughout the year. In the UK, the carnival is second in numbers only to the Notting Hill Carnival in London. There is so much to do in London; it’s definitely nice to get out and see how other Britons live and party.

Main entrance of Wardown Park Museum

Jump to Wardown Park Museum

While you’ve got Wardown Park on the mind, it is also worth visiting Wardown Park Museum, which is located in a charming Victorian mansion. Free to enter, it offers a generous display of Luton history and culture, including a rotating display of the hats and lace that the region is famous for producing historically. They also feature special exhibitions, such as Luton Art, a highlight of local creations that runs through early March 2014. They also take care to plan affordable kid-friendly events, such as The Monkey and the Crocodile, a creative forest gathering that features an aerial circus, juggling, and skateboarding, among other things. It takes place the first of November 2013.

Just as there a number of things to do in Luton without spending mega bucks, for hotels Luton is also affordable. To save money and still get the comfort you need to have a pleasant stay, Premier Inn is a smart way to go, and they have an airport hotel as well as one in Dunstable/Luton city. They are both consistent with Premier’s reputation for having high standards in the budget hotel realm.

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