It’s finally that time of the year. Miami Carnival, one of the biggest celebrations of Caribbean culture, is back to bring a flurry of brightly-colored feathers and rhinestones, steel bands and authentic island eats to the city. Orchestrated by the Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee, the festival brings in visitors from all across the globe over multiple days. It began back in 1984 and has evolved ever since, but now it’s time to turn up this year and bring the best energy!
Whether you’re a seasoned Carnival-goer or heading there for the first time, here’s the ultimate guide to Miami Carnival this year.
What is Miami Carnival?
Hosted by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Miami Carnival provides the opportunity to immerse oneself in the music, dance and flavors that “make the Caribbean a source of endless fascination and joy.” There’s four signature events, from a Carnival J’ouvert where powdered paint gets thrown around to the anticipated parade of and mega concert where attendees put on their dazzling costumes while dancing to the rhythms of the steel drums and captivating bands. Visitors are also treated to arts and crafts and delectable food from various vendors, so you can savor dishes from various Caribbean islands, including jerk chicken, roti, doubles and more.
When is Carnival?
Celebrations begin the week before Columbus Day in October. This year, Miami Carnival kicks off with the Junior Carnival on Saturday, September 30th (1 pm-10 pm), where junior masquerade bands showcase their pageantry. This is followed by the Steel Band “Panorama” competition on Friday, October 6th (4 pm-11 pm).
Then the official Miami Carnival J’ouvert, where revelers immerse themselves in paint, powder and water, takes place Saturday morning on October 7th (7 am-3 pm).
Saturday is when the party really starts, with the Kings, Queens and Individual Shows and Competitions on October 8th (11 am-11 pm). It all culminates with the Miami Carnival Parade of Bands and Concert, an explosion of colorful, vibrantly clad parade revelers parading to the sounds of soca music.
Where is Carnival?
The Junior Carnival, Steel Band Competition and J’ouvert take over Central Broward Park in Lauderhill, 3700 NW 11th Place.
The anticipated event, the Mas Band Parade and Concert, brings the celebration to the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, 10901 SW 24th Street. It’s important to note that the Carnival route takes place inside the fairgrounds, not on the street.
Ways to get to Miami Carnival
There’s ample opportunities for transportation to get to the grounds on time and without a hassle. There’s Park N Ride shuttles for Sunday, Oct. 8, available from the following locations:
- Lauderhill Performing Arts Center – 3800 NW 11th Pl, Lauderhill, FL 33311
- Tropical Park – 7900 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155
- Lincoln Square Building – 18441 NW 2nd Ave, Miami Gardens, FL 33169
For tickets and more information, visit miamicarnival.org.