** Sat 2 March *** Sun 3 March **** Mon 4 March ***** Tues 5 March

  • Offers & Activities

    discover great carnival offers around the town & find out what people are doing


    Winter Carnival opens - full list of offer and activities here


    4 days of celebration and feasting begin

    Experience it all kick-off... The Penarth Winter Carnival begins by crowning the "First Fool" to preside over the festivities, accompanied by dancing, singing and musicians. Once the ceremony is complete the First Fool will dance into town.


    You'll need a costume... some ideas here


    Full list of offer and activities here

    Get Involved

    Create a carnival group with your friends and come along.

    It's as easy as "just turn up". Find out how here...

    Full list of carnival offers and activities here

    Beer launch

    Special Carnival brew arrives

    Vale of Glamorgan brewery Tomos & Lilford are brewing a special beer for Penarth Winter Carnival. The small brewery, was ranked number two in the Indy's best botanical beers round up, and their celebrated seaweed stout was the subject of a BBC documentary.


    The new beer, called CARNIVAL - Penarth Pale Ale will be available in the town over the carnival holiday season up to Pancake Tuesday.


    Full list of offer and activities here


    Day 2 - including Laughing Festival - full list of offer and activities here

    Celebrate the Penarth Carnival Sausage

    Celebrate the Penarth Carnival Sausage

    It's sausage Sunday. They have been traditional features of European winter carnivals dating back to medieval times and the sausage goes back into history about 4,000 years. Our two town centre butcher shops, David Lush Butchers and Thompson Family Butchers have both said they'll be making special Penarth carnival sausages for the carnival celebrations. Which one will you try first?


    Tony Thompson from Thompson Butchers is also one of South Wales' leading blues harmonica players so lets hope we hear him play in the carnival too.


    Full list of offer and activities here


    Carnival Bank Holiday - full list of offer and activities here

    Give yourself a bank holiday Monday!

    Come on, you deserve it.

    People have begun to book time off work making Penarth carnival days an extra, unexpected holiday. Imagine that. No waiting at airports. No queues. No packing. Why not? Get your diary out and give yourself a winter break in your own town.


    Full list of latest offers and activities here


    Pancake Day - Mardi Gras - full list of offer and activities here

    Pancakes on the Pier

    Children's carnival celebration

    Come down to the Pier after school. The Pavilion is throwing open its doors to children of the town for a carnival celebration. Waterloo Tea Rooms on the Pier are cooking pancakes and there will be mask making help from the Italian Cultural Centre Wales and carnival artists. If the weather is fine we may go for a walk in our costumes along the Promenade. If it's rainy... bring a brolly!


    Full list of offer and activities here

    Mardi Gras - Party Night

    If you don't - who will?

    Wonderbrass - Wales' international festival band take to the streets, bars and restaurants of Penarth. There's a Mardi Gras carnival party at the Ex-Servicemen's club... Buy your ticket, put it in the calendar and find a costume. It's the BIG NIGHT.


    Tickets £5.00 from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/penarth-winter-carnival


    Full list of offer and activities here

  • JOIN THE Carnival

    Once a carnival is declared there isn't a central organising committee... it just works by carnival groups getting together to do carnival things. Do something special you enjoy, meet up to celebrate with friends / family, organise a street event, go out dressed up round the town with friends , help build a more organised event, or create your own special carnival activity for others... it depends on you ! Here are some ideas...

    Treat yourself

    1 person carnival

    The smallest unit of a carnival is one person. You! Whether you run a long bath and listen to music all afternoon, or sneak of to the shed to listen to TalkSport radio, go for a walk, or buy yourself that special treat you've been promising yourself... the carnival starts with you declaring a holiday for yourself.

    Family / friends group

    The heart of the carnival

    Small groups of friends and family, going out together, for fun - this the heart of the carnival. It doesn't matter what your age or your story. In carnival, everyone is welcome to dress up and celebrate. Do something you always do (like go for a pizza, play tennis, walk the dog) but in costume. Or plan a special carnival activity. Get involved with other groups. It's how the carnival is made...

    Club / organisation group

    Don't be left out... join the party

    Penarth is full of great clubs, organisations and associations. There is a huge wealth of life and activity. How will your organisation respond. It might be the committee who take the lead or - as it's carnival - it may be up to you! Take the lead. Suggest something. Big or small - it doesn't matter. If it happens, it's part of the carnival!

    Specialist carnival group

    Have a carnival vision... make it

    Perhaps you know exactly what you'd like to do... the carnival needs people who can organise ideas, activities and encourage others to join in the fun. Whatever you are doing, share it with others... and we'll let people know - so that this winter carnival starts, goes and finishes with plenty of spirit.


    Artists, musicians, businesses, youth workers, organisers... see help needed section

    Visit the Penarth mascamp

    3 days of workshop, advice and help before the carnival starts

    Mas camp is the place to meet and get help with your carnival costume, ideas, designs, plans and where you can meet carnival artists and chat about the carnival.


    Where: Penarth Pier Pavilion

    Date: Wed 27 Feb, Thurs 28 Feb & Fri 1 March


    Times: Afternoons

    Age: All ages welcome, under 16's to be supervised by an adult


    Made possible with artists from Butetown Carnival and supported by Waterloo Tea Rooms at the Pier who are making time for coffee and cake in the carnival. Thank you.


    made for our carnival, available in the town, opens doors for you

    Buy carnival ribbon

    to access carnival offers and discounts

    Businesses, shops, cafes and restaurants will be making special offers to anyone wearing a piece of carnival ribbon. We'll list the offers on this site.

    And we'll let you know where to find it from this week!

    Thanks to National Weaving Ltd in Narberth, Pembs for supplying the ribbon. It's beautiful!


    Full list of offer and activities here


    On its way - four days of carnival festival feasting and fun. This website is made by a group who want to share info and news about Penarth Winter Carnival.


    A number of people from Penarth were involved in creating the spectacular opening celebration for the 2018 National Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay called Carnifal y Môr – Carnival of Sea. Thousands of people loved it. Since then many people have been talking about carnival in Wales, so we thought we’d hold a winter style carnival celebration in Penarth.


    Of course, some people are asking... "Isn't it a bit short notice to have such a whole town event?"

    but we say, if they can organise a full international Brexit in eight weeks, we can create a town carnival in three weeks... let's get on with it!


    carnival stories

    here's Penarth's carnival encourager Richard Parry talking to the people who invented a crazy activity in mid-Wales


    carnival stories

    people from Penarth were in the heart of building the carnival that opened the 2018 National Eisteddfod


    community stories

    the Eden Project's "Great Big Walk" across Wales from Yorkshire finished with a big community party at Penarth in 2017

    Carnival Constitution

    Here is the carnival constitution proclaimed at the crowning of the First Fool on Saturday

    Whereas it hath long been known society cannot operate in human decency without that fundamental pillar of law which permitteth the cry of ‘habeus corpus’ - and, God’s wounds, was not it also the demand of Thomas, and does there not exist an army battalion that would clamour for its boots and braces without the occasional production of bodies - yet for what time hath it been forgot there exists a concomitant right of every man, woman and child, within or without of the law, to exercise laughter.


    But that being put aside for an instant, let it be herewith noted our purposes be not to encourage private laughter or such farewell smirking which hath so its moment in destruction of the fabric of our common weal and civic dignity, rather to set forth without abstraction those canons and caveats by which we might endeavour to augment the same by a common roar of mirth, so widely set forth from worldly ire that trips and beats from bed to bowl to byre and bed again, but rather that which is appraised by those who have laboured beneath its daily yoke, to be that distant glimmen of eternal joy, made present from whence the bright sun hath dipped its solstice in the darkest broth of winter until such time as golden seed push through the jewelled ice and green our appetite for life again. So first let it be known of any official, being clerk or officer, lawyer, ordinand, marshal or sergeant, upon whom, by order of some prayer or paper held within the town or state, should come cap in hand, or cap on head, refuting truths and law herein residing that with ease predate both office, pen and epaulette, let it be known their strenuous petitions upon our long discovered jurisdiction of joy can be no more heard nor regarded as bearing authority upon the pursuit of our civic happiness than the presentation of flatus caught and preserved in a kettle.

    Penarth Mabinogion

    Here is the Penarth version of the Mabinogion sent to Harlech on the first day of the festival

    THEN THEY CUT OFF HIS HEAD and with the head they made for Harlech, and they began a feast, and the indulgence in food and drink was begun. And as soon as they began to eat and drink there came three birds, which began to sing a kind of song to them; and when they heard that song, every other [tune] seemed unlovely beside it. It seemed a distant sight, what they could see far above the ocean yet it was as clear as if they had been right next to them. And they were at that feast for seven years. And at the end of the seventh year, they made for Gwales in Penfro. And there at their disposal was a beautiful kingly place high above the ocean – and a great hall it was. They went into the hall. They saw two open doors – the third door was closed, and that was the one facing Cornwall. ‘Look over there,’ said Manawydan ‘the door which we must never open.’ And that night they were there, lacking nothing – and were completely free of care. Of all the grief that they had witnessed or experienced themselves – there was no longer any memory, or any of the sorrow in the world. Eighty years they passed there, having never enjoyed a period of time as carefree or light-hearted as that. It was no more irksome to them – they didn’t realise from their companions how long it had been since they came there. And it was no more irksome for them having the head there, than it had been when Bendigeidfran had been alive with them. And because of that it was known as the ‘Assembly of The Wondrous Head’. (The Assembly of Branwen and Matholwch was the one where they went to Ireland). This is what Heilyn son of Gwyn did one day: ‘Shame on my beard,’ said he ‘if I don’t open the door and find out whether it is true what is said about it. So he opened the door, and looked out to Cornwall and over Aber Henvelen. And when he looked, suddenly everything they had ever lost – loved ones and companions, and all the bad things that had ever happened to them; and most of all the loss of their king – became as clear as if it had been rushing in towards them. And from that moment, they were not able to rest unless they were making for London with the head.

    And they came ashore at Pen Hardd in Aber Henfelen, and as each placed his feet on the shore, carrying the head, their losses came greatly upon them, and their strength went from them.

    Then Manawydan said, ‘This journey over the land ahead will not be made without some assistance beyond us.” And they looked back over the sea and saw and heard once more the birds of Rhiannon, the same which had appeared to them in Harddlech, and the head which until that time had not spoken awoke a while and said, “Be at feast here for four days, and the joys you were afforded on Gwales will not be lost to us.” And on the fifth day they continued to London, however long they were on the road, and buried the head in the White Mound.


  • Food & Drink


    It's a time for celebration. Plan for party - at home and around the town. Food shops around the town will have carnival offers and special creations. The butchers are making carnival sausages, look out for carnival cakes, and carnival menus - from breakfast til late.


    And the brewers Tomos & Lilford in the Vale of Glamorgan are brewing a Penarth Carnival beer that will be available in pubs in the town. So invite your friends and family. Make a feast at home, or hit the town to celebrate.


    Full list of offer and activities here

  • Shops & business

    Lots of shops and businesses in the town have said they'll help with the Penarth Winter Carnival. From this week you'll be able to buy Penarth Carnival ribbon - if you have a piece there will be discounts and carnival offers during Carnival. Also, costume ideas, masks and party stuff will be on sale over the next few weeks. Maybe you want to make something for the carnival - and ask the shops to sell it. News of which shops and businesses with offers coming soon...


    In the meantime, if you run a shop or business in the town and you want to make a carnival offer to the public or organising groups... drop us a line. We'll let everybody know.


    Full list of latest offers and activities here


    SPONSOR THE CARNIVAL. We've started this festival with no money. If you are able to sponsor part of the carnival, or make a donation, it would be very much appreciated and will make a huge difference. We can employ more carnival artists to come and work with the town & help us make this party special. Sponsorship hotline - send a message or ring Richard on 07974 39 7771

    Carnival Ribbon

    Carnival offers

    Penarth Carnival ribbon goes on sale this week across the town.


    You can make carnival offers to customers wearing carnival ribbon over the festival weekend

  • costume

    Dressing up is a big part of carnival...


    It's up to you. Look at the Caribbean and American traditions. Perhaps you like the Black forest German carnival masks and costumes. This is Penarth - so "the bear" could be big - wander round town in a bear costume (or at least get a bear mask). Andy from Hamptons is making a Penarth version of the traditional carnival Old Man and Old Woman masks worn by young and old alike in Oberkirch, Germany. Or maybe, it's got to be Brazillian for you! And of course, there are four days, so you can wear something different every day. No-one can tell you what's right for you. It's your expression. It's your carnival.


    Also, everybody wearing a piece of carnival ribbon will get special carnival discounts and offers in shops, bars, cafes and restaurants around town.


    Full list of offer and activities here

    Carnival Ribbon

    Penarth Carnival Colours

    This lovely Penarth Carnival ribbon is in woven fabric and available in town shops this week.

    There'll be great carnival offers and discounts for everyone wearing a piece of carnival ribbon


    Full list of offer and activities here


    can you join, help or lead one of these groups...

    Artists / makers - welcome

    • Improving our backend infrastructure and database schema to help query profiling for performance indexes, logging, improving the reporting and job management system). Writing additional ETLs to gather, structure, and normalize data from new and existing sources for our database. Creating additional internal APIs to expose this data to front end applications.
    • Sick of the language of arts administration? Can you help a town build four days of carnival from the ground up? We've got some offers from experienced carnival artists who are willing to share and work with you. Because it's carnival and our first year, and we've simply declared, there's no money...(sigh)...  but if you want to be part of this.... welcome.

    musicians / entertainers - play the carnival

    • The town is full of talent. There are musicians of every sort and variety here in the town. Celebrate and add to the party. Music and musicians are such an huge energy right in the centre of carnival. Play a gig in a new/old venue in the town, pop up on the pavement, move along with revellers, join some of the costumed ambles over the carnival holiday. Phil from Pencerdd Music shop is coordinating offers - pop in and see him in Pencerdd shop next to Penarth Railway station. Play. Sing. Play.
    • The Birds of Rhiannon. In the Mabinogion stories the feast of the giant Bendigeidfran was accompanied by the most beautiful singing from the birds of Rhiannon. Fancy a singing festival within the carnival? Get in touch...

    Children's activities


    • There are already great family activities on the Saturday and Pancake Tuesday. But we need more! If you run a nursery, children's group or school - here's the perfect opportunity to explore and celebrate carnival. Make a carnival activity - for yourselves, or for sharing. It's completely up to you.
    • Give them a treat. The best people to provide children's carnival activity are the people who normally run and provide activities, groups and clubs for children. because you know precisely what your kids would love. So, offer them a carnival treat, party or activity...
    • Talent for organising? We're looking for experienced children's activity coordinators - to keep everybody in the loop -  so everyone knows what's going on. Can you help? Drop us a line...

    Got a daft idea?


    • We've got a bonkers bike ride to Harlech, town sausage rivalry, our own beer, laughing workshops, parties pancakes and platform for you to have fun... If you've got more daft ideas for a carnival activity get in touch, or better still, get on and organise it - we'll let folks know...
    • Just announce it. Penarth's carnival encourager Richard met the team who invented the World Bog Snorkelling Championship in Llanwrtyd Wells when he walked through Wales for the Eden Project. Here's a short film:  man versus horse  What bonkers things should we do in Penarth?

    Live in another Welsh town?


    • No problem. Come along. Our carnival if for the town, but we want to help kick-start carnival in Wales in other places. Get a town carnival group together from where you are and come and help us explore the traditions and make new ones. We'll return the compliment and visit you when you declare your carnival.
    • Live somewhere around the world where they carnival seriously?  Come. Show us how you party and celebrate. We've got some links with Germany, Crundale, Trinidad carnival experience but we want to learn and develop... get in touch!

    Sponsor carnival


    • Can you help with sponsorship?  We've started this lovely festival with no money. If you are able to sponsor part of the carnival, or make a donation, it would be very much appreciated and it will make a huge difference. We can employ more carnival artists to come and work with the town & help us make this party special. Sponsorship hotline - send a message or ring Richard on 07974 39 7771
    • We'll be creating a sponsors section on this website soon. Help in this way, if you can.

    Don't be afraid to reach out. You + carnival = awesome.

  • Patrons of Penarth Winter CARNIVAL

    many, many thanks to our wonderful supporters and patrons - it wouldn't be possible without you

    Sponsoring the after-school Pancakes at the Pier party on Tuesday

    The Albion, Penarth


    Vale of Glamorgan Council

    Supporting with a new events grant - thank you

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