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EKC Ashford College back this year’s Carnival of the Baubles!

Published: 15/11/2023
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The annual Carnival of the Baubles will return once again to light up Ashford Town Centre for its big festive celebration on Saturday 25 November 2023. This year’s event is proudly sponsored by EKC Ashford College, who will lead the stunning night-time parade featuring hundreds of Ashford school children, college students, businesses, and community groups.

Outdoor arts specialists Emergency Exit Arts, who are known for creating large unforgettable experiences in towns and cities up and down the UK, have already started the carnival build, and can soon be found in County Square Shopping Centre who are hosting a Bauble Maker Space - where residents and visitors can get a sneak peak of this year’s baubles and also join in a selection of workshops.

Along with EKC Ashford College, this year’s enchanted forest theme display will be led by Farrah the Fox, a huge 5-meter tall mechanical puppet that will roam the streets on her scooter. Farrah has had a busy summer, having travelled around the country as part of Historic England’s Hi! Street Fest and will be heading to Ashford (Fun fact: artists from The Craftship CIC, here in Ashford, contributed to some of her construction) to officially start the countdown to the festive season, by waving and welcoming the crowds to Ashford, and getting everyone along the carnival route in the Christmas spirit.

In the build up to the parade, there will be even more things for the whole family to enjoy, including;

  • Christmas lights
  • Festive markets
  • Lantern making workshops
  • Music on the Bandstand
  • Street entertainment
  • Business offers, and
  • After-show parties

The parade will officially start at 5pm from Elwick Place, with EKC Ashford College and Farrah the Fox leading a sea of light and music up Bank Street and towards the Lower High Street where there will be a fabulous celebratory ending!

After the parade, Coachworks will be hosting a family-friendly after party – with street food, music and lots of festive cheer!

Susan Bonett, Principal of EKC Ashford College says: “We are very pleased to be the Carnival’s Headline Sponsor - especially in the year where we have successfully completed our Phase 2 development, opening a new Engineering hub, Business innovation suite and Digital studio in the new build; significantly grown our Art & Design offer to include Creative Media and Print Media; and achieving our ‘Outstanding’ grade from Ofsted.

"Sponsoring the carnival is part of our commitment and strong emphasis on developing skills working on live projects and productions. This year’s event will no doubt give our students genuine experience of showcasing their work to the public.”

Cllr Heather Hayward, Portfolio Holder for Performance and Direction at Ashford Borough Council says: “We are delighted to welcome back Carnival of the Baubles to Ashford Town Centre this November – it really is the perfect way to start the festive season!

"As well as looking magical, the parade of lights travelling up our high street really encapsulates true community spirit and brings our residents together every year, which is rather quite special. This year’s theme of enchanted forests, the parade being led by Farrah the Fox and a full programme of events for everyone to enjoy should make this year even bigger and better and I for one cannot wait to attend.”

So make sure you visit www.loveashford.com for more information and to start planning your trip to Ashford Town Centre this Christmas.