It’s that time of year again where Cowley Road shuts to cars and opens for a massive, music and food filled party. It’s Carnival time! Here’s our guide to Cowley Road Carnival 2015.
The theme for 2015 is CREATING OUR FUTURE, reflecting Oxford Brookes University’s role in developing the future aspirations of young people during their 150th anniversary year. The fossil-fuel-free procession includes street and samba bands, schools and community groups from across the city, and some from further afield.
The Carnival expects almost 800 people in this year’s procession, all travelling in fossil-fuel free ways!
Music & Dance
There is a HUGE lineup of music and dance across a variety of locations, including: indie, rock and acoustic bands performing on a stage at The City Arms; a Latino Party at Bar Aroma; DJ’s, live percussion (and live showing of Formula 1) at The Cowley Retreat; a family DJ set at the Family Zone outside the Asian Cultural Centre; and a Brazilian Dance Party at the Marston Street junction . The Carnival team have put together a full lineup here.
The Food & Drink
Of course, Cowley Road is always a great place to eat. But on Carnival Day sounds, aromas and flavours tempt the senses from all directions; with music, dance, family activities, a procession, and this year even a beach.
The big news of the day is that you’ll finally find out what the old home for Atomic Burger is about to become… Big Ron’s Burrito Shack!
The brand new concept behind the team at Atomic will be serving up a taste of what’s to come, featuring classic burritos with tequila & lime chicken, pulled cajun pork, slow cooked chipotle beef, or cajun spiced veg with classic burrito additions. Opening date to follow, but roughly 4 weeks time!
Atomic Burgers itself will be offering burgers & pulled pork sandwiches.
Most of the other restaurants will have stalls outside to sell mouth-watering street food created just for Carnival alongside a selection of their most popular dishes. Majliss will be serving their speciality mango lassi with a choice of dishes which will include lamb, chicken and veggie birianis, brinjal bora (aubergine), onion bhajis and samosas.
If eating them isn’t enough for you – you can learn how to make your own. Aziz is holding samosa and onion bhaji making workshops.
Jerk chicken is a Carnival classic. And you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a stall serving it – there will be several there. Freelance chef, Jack Greenhall of Smoke & Thyme, who also does weekly Wednesday barbecues at The Library on the Cowley Road, will be in the Hobgoblin Car Park zone where he is cooking and serving jerk chicken and curried goat, along with rice and pea, and roasted plantain.
The Rickety Press is bringing a brand new Texan pit smoker and will be serving 18hr pitsmoked brisket and pulled pork. Joe Perks & Co will be cooking up their famous hot dogs which went down a storm last year and Chido will be have a selection of spicy Mexican street food to try.
From Nepal, Momo King, will be serving their traditional Nepalese dumplings with hand-made chutneys. These are hugely popular at the Gloucester Green market on Wednesdays and Thursdays – so Carnival day will give those of us who can’t make it to the city centre the chance to try some.
The Indonesian Community Association are back for their third year at Carnival led by Yani Sampurno who came to Oxford from Jakarta 10 years ago. The stall, which will be centrally located near the junction with Manzil Way has a real feast on offer. For just £5 or £6 there is a huge selection of traditional Indonesian dishes. For example, chicken and beef satay, Ayam Bakar Rica – spicy chicken marinated in chillies shallots, ginger and cooked with lime leaf and lemon grass; Ikan Bakar Kecap – BBQ sweet and spicy tilapia marinated with herbs and spices with steamed rice and fresh salad.
For drinkers, there are two official bars. One at the Hobgoblin Car Park which is behind Tesco between Union Street and Chapel Street and the other at Manzil Gardens.
Images courtesy of Cowley Road Carnival