The sights and sounds of a traditional Brazilian carnival transformed a Durham City day centre.

Durham Pathways, which provides lively and enriching therapeutic and multisensory activities for adults with disabilities who live in County Durham, hosted a celebration of Brazilian culture.

Special guests at the event were musicians from Porto (CORR) Rico Maracatu group, who made the journey from Recife in Brazil to bring the music, culture and soul of the Maracatu movement to the event. The visit was arranged by Jack Drum Arts.

Extra carnival colour was provided by a 20-strong samba band, a carnival queen and Oriental dragons. Carnival-goers were also served up healthy Brazilian mocktail smoothies and the centre’s sensory garden had been giving a South American theme with new trees and plants.

Paul Graydon, countywide manager for care and support pathways, said: “Every year we hold a summer festival and this year we chose a Brazilian carnival theme.

“We were extremely privileged to have a visit from Maractu musicians, who travelled a long way to join us but provided some fabulous music and entertainment.

“We also had a lot of support from local businesses who helped us transform the centre and create a fantastic carnival atmosphere. Everyone really did have an amazing time.”

Adults who attend the Pathways service have been learning about Brazil during the past few months, making their own masks, bunting and musical instruments to use at the festival.

Guests at the event included Cllr Bill Kellett, Chairman of Durham County Council, and Barbara Gubbins, Chief Executive of County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF).

Support for the event was provided by a wide range of local business, who provided funding and donations. Businesses included Card Factory, Congburn Nurseries, Pity Me Nursery, Balloon Sensations, Batleys, Bristol Street Motors and Stanley Civic Centre.

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