Mardi Gras, traditionally, means fat Tuesday and is celebrated in South America on Shrove Tuesday. In the UK we get pancakes and in South America, it’s carnivals!
Corby’s Mardi Gras is not on a Tuesday and it isn’t a carnival but the basic idea of communities celebrating together remains a core part of the Corby Mardi Gras plans and here you’ll find out everything you need to know about the free event planned for Saturday March 30th.

The Corby Mardi Gras has rapidly established itself as a highlight in the town’s event calendar and this year is set to be bigger than ever. Produced by Leicester based cultural development agency and arts charity, ArtReach, plans for this year’s event includes live music, illuminated woodland walks, free creative arts workshops and a whole host of family friendly fun. All of which take place, in and around The Core at Corby Cube, Thoroughsale and Hazel Woods and the Rooftop Arts Centre with the main action in the James Ashworth VC square (outside the Cube) from 1pm-8pm.

Illuminated Woodland Walks by Same Sky

Local choir, Big About Singing will be opening the woodland walks with a rousing vocal performance from 1pm-1.15pm audience members and local walking groups are then set to take a gentle stroll through Thoroughsale and Hazel woods to have a look around the incredible sculptures. Each year, Same Sky, producers of this installation bring an amazing array of unique lantern sculptures to Corby for people to explore and enjoy, with 2019’s display being the biggest to date. Same Sky have also been working with local community groups to create elements for the final sculpture which you’ll only discover by completing the entire walk.

At 6pm participants from workshops and audience members will be joined by mobile brass band, The King Brasstards who’ll lead the public lantern parade as we all take a meander through the enchanting illuminations and woodlands.


There’s a wide variety of performances from choirs, award winning theatre companies, local performers and professional musicians.

As, Big about Singing, get the woodland walks off to a flying start at 1pm there will also be a free Samba workshop for anyone to join in with at The Core at Corby Cube. This workshop, which is suitable for all ages, will last from 1pm till 3pm and then participants are encouraged to all perform live together at 3.30pm outside The Cube.

At 2.30pm people are invited to enjoy an open air performance by Great Bowden Recital Trust Saxophone choir who are sure to blow away a few cobwebs with their fresh and funky choir which is made entirely of brass instruments!

Award winning theatre company, Highly Sprung, have been working with Made in Corby and selected Corby local’s to create a brand new and street theatre show. Journeys to Home, featuring both professional and local performers it features researched stories into people who have made Corby their hometown. Highly Sprung Theatre Company are renowned for creating mobile street theatre that has wowed audiences across the UK at many outdoor Festivals.
Journeys from Home will be performed outside the Cube, James Ashworth VC Square, at 2pm and again at 4pm and lasts approximately 30 minutes per performance.

Deep Roots Tall Trees, another incredible local choir’ will perform at the entrance to the woodlands at 5.30pm as a build up to the public parade. This year, the public parade will be accompanied by roaming musicians, The King Brasstards, who will add a carnival atmosphere to the big public parade of the day before they wrap up the event with a 30 minute set at 6.30pm in the JAVC square.

The, Same Sky, illuminated sculptures will remain open to the public until 8pm that evening to allow members of the public to enjoy a leisurely stroll through the transformed woodlands. Local school children have been working, with Creative Futures, on an interactive Sound Sculpture which will feature in the woodland sculpture trail, people are invited to join in and experiment with this installation whilst also enjoying the incredible illuminations on offer.

Creative Workshops

Throughout the day there are a number of free creative arts activities that you can drop into and enjoy with friends or family. There’s the, previously mentioned, Samba workshops at The Core from 1pm-3pm.

In the James Ashworth VC square, from 1pm-5pm ARTonomy are creating sculptural headdresses that you can wear during the main event.Over at Rooftop Arts Centre from 1pm-3pm there is the final session for free lantern making workshops. Whilst at Corby Library from 3pm-4pm you can join in mask making workshops all of which are free of charge and a fantastic way to get some of that carnival feeling and colourful creations to wear in the final parade through the woodlands at 6pm.

Corby Mardi Gras 2019 March 30 1pm-8pm

Without a doubt there is plenty of creative fun, top quality performances and many local stories to celebrate at the third annual Corby Mardi Gras and if you’d like to find out more about the event then be sure to follow plans for the event by searching Facebook for Corby Mardi Gras 2019, use #CorbyMardiGras2019 online or visit