top of page

Carnival gets “Mardi Gras” creative with programme cover design competition

Bradford Grammar School students Ben Richardson and Charlotte Brown join the school’s head of art Sarah Horsfield and Ilkley Carnival's Colin Watson to launch the creative competition at the school this week

Ilkley Carnival’s annual creative competition is back as organisers launch their search for the 2024 programme cover design!


Children and young people aged 5-16 across LS29 are being asked to enter the competition and wow judges with a spectacular image to represent this year’s “Mardi Gras” theme, with the winner securing their design on the front of the programme which will be seen by more than 10,000 visitors to the town.


The competition is sponsored by Bradford Grammar School - once home to the world-renowned artist David Hockney – whose art department is providing prizes of an art set and a bespoke arts workshop at the school for the winner and their classmates. Bradford Grammar School students Ben Richardson and Charlotte Brown joined head of art Sarah Horsfield and Ilkley Carnival creative competition co-ordinator Colin Watson to launch the initiative at the school this week.


Offering words of wisdom for creating an impactful front cover, Sarah Horsfield said: "The ‘Mardi Gras’ theme is the perfect canvas to unleash those artistic skills, get creative and have fun. Think vibrant colours and bold imagery all while capturing the essence of Ilkley. Embrace the theme and infuse your design with elements that capture the festive and vibrant spirit of this celebration.”


She added: “We look forward to welcoming the winner and their classmates into our art department later this year to explore and learn creative techniques they can use over and over again. Good luck!"


The competition falls into three entry categories for children aged 5-8, 9-11 and 12-16, with a closing date of 1 March. All category winners will have their winning designs framed and the overall winner will see their design on the cover of the programme and will receive the two art prizes from Bradford Grammar School.


Ilkley Carnival’s sponsorship and creative competition lead Colin Watson, who also designs and produces the Ilkley Carnival programmes, is visiting all schools in the area to deliver the competition entry forms.


He said: “Designing the programme is a key part of the build up to Ilkley Carnival so I’m looking forward to seeing entries that really jump of the page. As Sarah says, this is a fantastic opportunity to create something really eye catching which has the chance of being seen by thousands of people on the day – we can’t wait to see what our local young people create and to transfer the winning design onto the cover of the 2024 event programme.”


Ilkley Carnival commences at 11am on 6 May with its spectacular parade which begins on The Grove and ends at East Holmes Field showground which will be home to headline acts, a fun dog show, trade and charity stalls and a host of free children’s activities from the craft tent to Punch and Judy.


All carnival creative entries must be received by 1 March and delivered in an envelope clearly marked ‘Ilkley Carnival Cover Competition’ to Pinnacle Graphic Design, 32-34 The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9EE. Please ensure your name, age, entry category, address and contact number or email is clearly written on the back of each entry.

For more information, visit the carnival’s website on and for more information on Bradford Grammar click here

To keep updated with all the news follow @IlkleyCarnival on X, Instagram and Facebook.  


bottom of page