AMONG the biggest cancellations of the coronavirus outbreak in Oxford was the city's popular free street party - Cowley Road Carnival.

But you can’t keep the carnival spirit down and organisers have been busy putting plans in place for a virtual carnival day to brighten this summer, whether the UK has emerged from lockdown by then or not.

Cowley Road Works, the charity which puts on the explosion of colour, music and dancing each year has created projects and activities which people can do at home, culminating in a virtual carnival day on July 5.

Oxford Mail:

Clare O’Hara, director of Cowley Road Works, said: “At this difficult time, it is important to keep spirits up and we hope to bring carnival joy to Oxford with a series of projects and activities which you can all get involved with at home.”

The plan is to get the whole community behind the online carnival, with everyone able to contribute something.

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This could mean submitting photography, film, sound and written words – featuring all the dance, music, poetry, performance, food, games and other essential ingredients of carnival day.

Oxford Mail:

There are even plans for a virtual drum school, plus singing and dancing flash mobs.

In the run up to the big day there are also some simple creative ‘makes’ for children – and grown-ups – to get creative with using materials at hand in the home to make headdresses and lanterns.

To see more details of how to get involved and how to submit material on the virtual carnival section of the website at

There will be more projects over the coming weeks including a film competition and learning projects for primary-age children.

The key element to being part of Carnival at Home is for people to send in film or photos of their work.

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The website features guidelines to help get revellers started, with people encouraged to be as creative as possible.

Last year some 30,000 people descended on Cowley Road to take part in the free street party.

The highlight of the day is always the midday procession down the East Oxford road, with community groups, schools and other organisations creating impressive structures to dance the route.

People are still being encouraged to get crafty and make costumes based on this year's green theme of 'Mother Earth'.

Once done efforts can be shared via twitter @CowleyCarnival #VirtualCarnival #CowleyRoadCarnival, Facebook or tag the carnival on Instagram.

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Ms O’Hara said: “We are absolutely committed to bringing carnival joy and colour to brighten the summer of 2020.

“We can’t wait to see all your dance moves, music and masks, lanterns and poetry.

"Especially if you can film it all and we can stream it on carnival day and showcase through our website and social media."

She added: "I am specially looking forward to some delicious carnival street food recipes to try at home too.”