Bath Voice News: a riot of colour, costumes, music and brilliant design as the city celebrated with its 10th annual carnival procession

By Rob Coles: The 10th Bath Carnival filled the streets with colour, life and sound, a spirit that was not dampened by a couple of short sharp showers towards the end of the procession on Saturday 8th July, 2023. All photographs by Rob Coles of Bath.

Fabulous feathers

In spite of the rain the participants continued as they had started smiling and dancing throughout the long route.  It was good to see groups from many South American countries displaying their flags, even a giant Hamster or was it a Guinea Pig?   

A super atmosphere

There were road closures as the procession made its way along Great Pulteney Street, Argyle Street, Pulteney Bridge, Grand Parade and on through the city centre with crowds often five deep as people strained to see the colourful dancers and amazing creations.

Dancing in the street

There was even a Welsh Dragon flag and a  Devon General bus!  The friendly good humour continued at the Sydney Gardens all day party,  The originators who created the Vauxhall pleasure gardens would have been well pleased.   

Wonderful costumes

It was a wonderful atmosphere and I recalled how I had worked on stalls at the Sydney Gardens illuminations of the late 1950’s. At the Carnival Party while walking along the railway path I met a young couple sitting in an alcove under the railway bridge just as I had done with my girl friend, who later became my wife, so the cycle of life continues.

The Guides did the city proud

The Carnival Organisers released this thank you online following the event:

The spirit of Carnival was there for all to see on Saturday. What an inspiring sight to see thousands of local performers, artists, school children, charities and families taking to the streets – despite that deluge of rain we had during the procession!

It mightn’t have been the weather we’d hoped for on our 10 year anniversary, but the love, support and camaraderie we saw at Bath Carnival this year was unrivalled by any event we have delivered to date. Thank you to EVERYONE who came out to celebrate this landmark moment for our community project.

To all of the performers… Your resilience in difficult conditions was incredible; embracing the showers with beaming smiles and bundles of energy. Hat’s off to you all!

To the artists who have worked tirelessly preparing for today… Thank you not only for Saturday’s efforts but for your dedicated work ensuring hard to reach groups in Bath were represented at the weekend.

And to every single volunteer, steward, marshal, contractor, and supporter who’s been rooting for us in the background… You are the lifelines of Bath Carnival. Without you we would not have made it this far.

The organisers are already working on next year’s carnival which will take place on Saturday 13th July 2024.

To help with the work of staging the event or to take part visit

After party in Syndey Gardens gets under way
Trikes take part
The spirit of the carnival
Top music at the After Party in Syndey Gardens
Enjoying the show
Live music in the procession
South American flavour
Mermaids welcome