– Merry and Bright returns for 2022 – bigger and brighter than ever! A Joyous Free Family Event!

New Carnival in collaboration with Ryde Town Council are excited to unveil the programme for this year’s event! 

Merry and Bright is taking place in Ryde on Friday 16th December from 5-8pm, with an expanded programme of entertainment, activities, and performances.  

In the ‘Christmas Arena’, Town Square, there will be an exciting programme of entertainment on stage including magic from Huxley, Em Johnson, Mila Lake, DJ Kaf-Tan, RAW Samba drummers and Dancers, PyroLight and Jaydene Aerial. You will also be able to find the Grinch roaming around and Christmas craft activities by New Carnival.

The magical lantern parade will depart from Dover Street at 5.30pm and this year both Ryde Carnival Association and Ventnor Carnival Association will have their Carnival Royalty Floats lit up specially for the occasion. They will be joining us along with school and community groups, the fabulous RAW Samba Dancers and Drummers, and Keert Uk cargo bike (in disguise!). The parade will travel up Park Street and Star Street, down the High Street, back along Cross Street and Melville Street to finish at Vernon Square. 

At Vernon Square gardens the Vernon Square Conservation Society will be providing mulled wine and mince pies. You will also be able to marvel at the beautiful installations around the garden representing ‘the Land and the Sea’ featuring newly made ‘Island Coastal Buildings’ lanterns created by participants on New Carnival’s ACL course, and Ryde Academy’s IW biosphere project showcasing their recycled bottle top seahorse. There will be performances on the patio including: Double Take, the Monkton Merman Story, and New Carnival’s Neon Dancers.  

Check out the magical ‘Neon Garden’, in St Thomas’s rest garden, with a food market full of sweets, treats and refreshments from local Island businesses. There will also be shadow installations to explore and interact with: try out your hand shadow puppets skills and UV drawing.

There will be more performances around the town at Minghella Square and in the Royal Victoria Arcade including Hannah the Vintage Songbird and PyroLight. Don’t miss taking a look at Re:Box’s latest exhibition, the iconic red phone box on Lind street, which is currently showcasing work produced by Ryde Academy students for the IW Creative biosphere project.

“Merry and Bright is now in its third year, and fast becoming an established annual winter event. New Carnival work in collaboration with Ryde Town Council and many local community groups, schools, organisations, businesses, and volunteers. It is a wonderful example of the whole community coming together to bring some festive cheer to Ryde town. We hope you enjoy Merry and Bright 2022’   

Hannah Ray New Carnival Director 

New Carnival have secured their Arts council National Portfolio Organisation funding for the next 3 years, Merry and Bright is their winter event and they are keen to get feedback on what people think and how to improve it. If you attend, please take the time to fill out the feedback form (link on the programme) to help them shape the direction and priorities over the next 3 years. It is a joyous event put on by and for the local community, please help us all to shine!

For more information about Merry and Bright see the full event details below.

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