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Photo courtesy LehWeGo

What is Carnival?

Traditional Carnival as typically celebrated in Trinidad and Brazil, is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent, usually in February or March. Here in South Florida, Miami Carnival celebrations begin the week before Columbus Day in October. It kicks off with the Junior Carnival on the Saturday before Carnival Sunday, followed by the Steelband Panorama competition on Friday of Columbus Day weekend. The official J’Ouvert is held on Saturday morning of Columbus Day weekend and the carnival celebrations peak with the Kings, Queens and Individuals Show and Competition and the parade and concert on Carnival Sunday, the day before the 2nd Monday of October. MBOC has put together this guide to making the most of your carnival experience. This family event has many different types of entertainment, and we want to ensure you don’t miss out on anything each year.

Your Carnival Guide

Parade of the Bands

The Parade of the Bands takes place on Sunday, the day before Columbus Day, and features over 18,000 masqueraders in over 20 masquerade bands meandering around on an approved parade route.  The parade starts at noon and ends at 11 pm with a concert that follows the judging of the bands.  The pulsating music, the beauty, and pageantry are all legendary!

 

This year the Kings, Queens & Individuals costume competitions will take place with the Miami Carnival parade of bands. This part of the competition brings out the biggest and most elaborate costumes as the masqueraders compete for bragging rights, a trophy and huge cash prizes!

 

What to expect:

 

  • Each band has a theme which they portray on Carnival Day.  Expect to see beads and feathers in a kaleidoscope of colors, as well as huge King and Queen costumes – some of them more than 15 feet wide and 20 feet tall.
  • Be sure to bring sun block and water.
  • Interested in joining in?  Please click on the tab Mas Bands for a list of participating bands and their contact information.

The Music Truck

Have you heard about the Pied Piper?  During the parade of the bands you will witness the same phenomenon, with the masqueraders closely following the music truck as it makes its way to the main stage for judging.  The music trucks carry the music and entertainment; it is assembled using a trailer bed truck, racks of large speakers and musical instruments, and the DJs and entertainers perform on the truck.

The Steelbands

Panorama is held on Carnival Friday and is hosted at the Central Broward Regional Park Cricket Stadium from 5pm-11pm. This is a time to relax and enjoy the sweet music of the steelpan as the groups perform some of your favorite songs. The event promises to deliver an authentic platform for those looking for that true Caribbean experience on steel.

 

On the same night are the King, Queen & Individual costume competitions, at the same venue and time.  The Kings, Queens and Individuals competitions brings out the biggest and most elaborate costumes as the masqueraders compete for bragging rights, a trophy and huge cash prizes!

Steelband music is an integral part of Carnival and the Steelband performances as they compete for the coveted title of “Panorama Champion” should not be missed. Bands practice all year to prepare for this big night in Miami.

 

Panorama is held on Carnival Friday and is hosted at the Central Broward Regional Park Cricket Stadium from 5pm-11pm. This is a time to relax and enjoy the sweet music of the steelpan as the groups perform some of your favorite songs. The event promises to deliver an authentic platform for those looking for that true Caribbean experience on steel.

 

On the same night are the King, Queen & Individual costume competitions, at the same venue and time.  The Kings, Queens and Individuals competitions brings out the biggest and most elaborate costumes as the masqueraders compete for bragging rights, a trophy and huge cash prizes!

The Main Stage – Judging Point

After the bands parade on the streets the fun doesn’t end. It actually intensifies, as the bands take to the stage to be judged by a panel of experts from the carnival industry.  On the big stage, the bands act out their portrayals before the judges in an attempt to win the coveted title “Band of the Year”, along with the huge cash prize.

 

Experts come in from across the globe to judge the bands in various categories. The bands wait in the wings for their opportunity to cross the main stage and to “let loose”, unleashing the story behind their portrayals. It is a sight to behold and not one to be missed.

The Business Expo

Showcasing your business to a captive audience has never been easier. Miami Broward One Carnival will showcase businesses at the corporate booth village, allowing visitors to collect information on various services and products available to consumers.  Be sure to visit all the corporate booths while enjoying all the Carnival activities.

The Carnival Concert

The concert segment of Miami Broward One Carnival on Carnival Sunday, allows for the showcase of international Caribbean talent.  The concert has featured powerhouse soca acts and live bands including Machel Montano, David Rudder, Super Blue, Stalin, Crazy, Rikki Jai, Shurwayne Winchester, Byron Lee’s Dragonaires, Leon Coldero and Code 868, Kes The Band, Burning Flames, Hot Flames, Jam Band, Alison Hinds, Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons and many more. Every year soca lovers flock to Carnival to experience the high energy, live performances of these entertainers.  Each year Miami Broward One Carnival promises to deliver an exceptional line up of acts, which include performances by well-known Hispanic and Haitian acts, in an attempt to attract those who share similarities in culture and in the Carnival tradition.

Food and Drinks

Who goes to a cultural event and does not indulge in the food and drink? At Carnival it won’t be any different. The Miami Broward One Carnival food vendors, numbering over 50 vendors and representing just about every Caribbean culinary delight, features food and drink indigenous to the Caribbean region. Foods from the islands of Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Dominican Republic and many more are all available in our food court. You will also be able to enjoy rums, beer and beverages from the distillers and breweries representing many islands of the Caribbean. Make your list of those Caribbean dishes you want to taste and come prepared to satisfy that Jerk, Curry, or Stew craving you get as you enter the Park. Be sure to come hungry!

Arts and Crafts

Arts and Craft vendors from as far away as New York and Boston travel to South Florida with t-shirts, flags, toys, games, jewelry, souvenirs, paintings, wood carvings, incense, pottery and more.  Bring cash or use one of our ATMs conveniently located throughout the Miami Broward One Carnival village.