HUDDERSFIELD Carnival celebrates its 21st birthday this year.

The event this July will again be one of the largest African Caribbean Carnivals in the north of England.

And organisers expect crowds of up to 40,000 singing and dancing in the streets and taking part in the carnival atmosphere in Greenhead Park on July 9.

The carnival kicks off on Friday, July 8, with the queens' show.

The event will attract many girls and young women in extravagant costumes, bidding for the title of Carnival Queen 2005 and Junior Queen.

Henry Cudjoe, chairman of the Huddersfield Carnival Committee said: "Our carnival is larger than some in the North's major cities, including Leeds and Manchester.

"It pulls in carnival-goers from all over the country and the world.

"It serves an African Caribbean population numbering 16,000, one of the largest in the region.

"The event is now entering its 21st year and is a well-established part of many people's summers. This year's attendance is expected to reach 40,000."

The carnival procession leaves the Hudawi Cultural Centre on Great Northern Street, Hillhouse, after lunch. It winds it way through the town centre before entering Greenhead Park.

Colourful floats from a variety of community and cultural groups, schools and local organisations take part.

At the showground there will be a wide range of entertainment for all the family including music and dance, a fairground, stalls and Caribbean food on sale. Celebrations usually last well into the evening.

The carnival committee is looking for a main sponsor.

It is also keen to get community groups and businesses involved in sponsoring workshops which involve young people in the carnival spirit.

An exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery from April until December will include a celebration of carnival. It is part of Black History Month, which runs in October/November.

For more information, or for sponsorship opportunities, contact the committee on 0870 990 5118 or visit