Thousands celebrate first Harborne Carnival since lockdown restrictions ended

Harborne Carnival Credit: BPM

Harborne Festival returned this Sunday following a two year break due to Covid restrictions, and thousands of people turned up.

The event has attracted up to 70,000 people in previous years, and is believed to be the UK's second biggest street carnival after Notting Hill.

Local groups performed on two stages Credit: BPM

Sunshine, plus the fact that it was the first time the community had been able to come together for the carnival, meant that there was a huge turnout once again.

Families were treated to street food, stalls selling gifts and cards, while Birmingham bands and singers performed across two stages.

Thousands of people gathered in Harborne Credit: BPM

Jen Hartland, from Kings Heath, has grown and sold plants from her garden at the festival for years. She had a very colourful Jan's Plants stall at the carnival, full of geraniums, petunias, marigolds and more.

"It's great to be back," said Jan, who has been attending the carnival for more than 10 years. "It's a lovely do, everyone seems to enjoy it. It's even better this year, it's a really big one. It's nice for communities to come together again. Kings Heath used to have one but they don't do it any more so it's lovely to be able to have the Harborne Carnival."

The festival was well attended by families with children Credit: BPM

Dietician Joleen Sutcliffe had a stall selling her favourite sweets at the festival.

"It started as a hobby to make a bit of money whilst working part time as a dietician around the kids," said Joleen, who was born in Harborne and now lives in Sutton Coldfield.

"I love food and a lot of dieticians go into food. Pick n mix has been a family trend. A good diet is all about balance. I know it's a cliché but you should enjoy everything in moderation."

Credit: BPM

Many stallholders had only recently launched their businesses post the pandemic. Miles Grennan launched Cameler Spice Co in September 2021 with his partner, who used to work behind the scenes on Saturday Kitchen. They make and blend spices in Edgbaston that can be used in cooking and cocktails.

"All the alchemy happens in Edgbaston," he said, ""We have 12 spices from Persia, the Middle East and North Africa. They are 100 percent natural with no added sugar. It's great to be at the Harborne Carnival. We've been selling our spices at Edgbaston Market and we've just been invited to go and sell at Covent Garden and Borough Market in London.

There were cocktails on offer at the carnival Credit: BPM

"You can add the spices to rice, meat and even Bloody Mary's. Some have come from recipes from the partner's grandmother. Our goal is to grow so we become a local employer in the area."

Resident 'thought it was an earthquake' after explosion devastates home in Kingstanding

Birmingham explosion: Woman dies following blast at a home in Kingstanding