MORE than 45,000 people turned out for this year’s Cowley Road Carnival, making it the biggest ever.

Organisers say it’s the largest crowd they have hosted at the event that was held on Sunday.

Last year 35,000 people attended.

Celebrations began at noon before visitors enjoyed a street procession, a host of musical acts and a variety of snacks from the local food outlets.

Carnival organiser and director of Cowley Road Works, Danielle Battiigelli, said: “This year’s carnival has been brilliant.

“The atmosphere has been fantastic, helped by the weather which was perfect.

“Everyone had a wonderful time.”

Oxford’s Mini plant was the carnival’s main sponsor.

Mini Plant Oxford managing director Frank Bachmann said yesterday: “The carnival is such a great way of bringing the whole of the local community together.

“We were delighted that the plant was chosen as one of the faces of Oxford and that our robots proved an inspiration for the street dancers.”

Uhuru Whole Foods retail assistant Monica Kwiat, 34, visited the weekend’s carnival for the sixth time.

She said: “It was very good and it was much bigger than previous years.

“There isn’t anything like that happening in Oxford so it’s good to have something like that and it’s good to promote this area.”

Sarah Wearden, owner of Cowley Road’s Indigo Natural Living, has been tweeting about the carnival using #beststreetintheworld.

She said: “I think that Oxford is a really rich and diverse city and I think this is a real opportunity to celebrate that.”

One incident of violence was reported from the carnival with a man taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital following an assault in Divinity Road.

Thames Valley Police were called to the incident just before 8pm when the victim sustained serious injuries thought to be the result of a stabbing.

The victim, in his 20s, was not thought to be in a life-threatening condition and no arrests have been made.

But the incident did not dampen spirits.

Assistant manager of charity shop Sue Ryder, Joseph Fenwick, said: “I think when you have a large event that big, I think something is always going to happen.”

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