When is Miami Carnival?
What is the Date of Miami Carnival 2023? Miami Carnival does not occur before the onset of Lent but is actually held in early October one week before Columbus Day. After a year of hiatus, the 39th annual Miami Carnival will take place on the 2023 Columbus Day weekend. In 2023, Columbus Day will take place on Monday, 9 October, 2023.
The official Miami Carnival events will take place between Friday and Sunday prior to Columbus Day which this year is from the October 6 – 9, 2023. The peak of Miami Carnival is Parade Day which always takes place the Sunday prior to Columbus Day the October 8, 2023.
Where is the Miami Carnival?
- Where is Miami Carnival located?
- Central Broward Regional Park – 3700 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill, FL 33311.
- Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds – 10901 Coral way, Miami, Fl.
What is Miami Carnival?
Miami Carnival is one of Trinidad’s great exports combining Caribbean Carnival with the beauty and vibrancy of Miami. The 37th Annual Miami Carnival is a multi-day experience that draws over 75,000 attendees. Miami has a prominent Caribbean-American community due to its close proximity to the Caribbean and every year they honour that community by hosting the most exciting and colorful Caribbean Carnival in the USA.
Carnivals in Miami is all about embracing and celebrating the spirit, passion, heritage, traditions, art and music of Caribbean culture. It is a fusion of all the different Caribbean cultures that have made Miami home. Carnival Miami attracts visitors from all over the world! But in particular thousands of party-goers will actually travel from the Caribbean Islands to Miami to experience Caribbean Carnival Miami.
How is Miami Carnival celebrated?
You can be guaranteed that this party city throws one of the BEST carnival celebrations in the entire world! For three decades, carnival and mas-lovers have flocked to Miami to celebrate Caribbean culture, soak up the sun and soca vibes, revel in the pageantry and participate in the Mas Band Parade. The signature, do not miss events of Miami Carnival are the Junior Carnival, Panorama Steel Band Competition, J’ouvert and the costumed Mas Parade & Concert Day.
You can also sample delicious food and drinks from various Caribbean islands, watch live music shows, check out a costume competition, attend a party or two, or even march in the parade yourself. There are also plenty of pre and post carnival events, parties and fetes that are worth attending.
Key Miami Carnival Events:
- Panorama Steel Band Competition
- Miami Carnival J’ouvert
- Miami Junior Carnival
- Miami Carnival Grand Parade & Concert
Miami Carnival Parade of the Bands
The Parade of the Bands is the main attraction of Miami Carnival and every year over 75,000 revellers come out to watch. The Miami Carnival Parade of the Bands is the most spectacular showcase of color, costumes, pageantry and fantasy.
The Miami Carnival Parade of the Bands features over 18,000 participants in 20 different masquerade bands. Accompanying the bands are large music trucks carrying sound-systems or DJs. They pump out the rhythmic Caribbean tunes for the participants to dance to.
The Mas Bands compete for the bragging rights of being awarded the “Best Band of the Year” and a large cash prize. The Mas Bands are marked by a panel of expert judges who critique their costumes, creativity, authenticity, choreography, music, enthusiasm and presentation.
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Playing Mas at Miami Carnival
What is Playing Mas?
When it comes to celebrating carnival in Miami you can either be a spectator and watch the parade from the sidelines, or you can join in the fun! Playing mas basically means that you are going to be a participant in the parade.
What is a Mas Band?
Mas is just an abbreviation of masquerade. A mas band or a carnival band is just a group of people that will perform together in the parade. Every year the Mas Bands must select a theme and then represent that theme through their costumes, music and dance.
Anyone is welcome to join a mas band. All you have to do is pick your favourite Mas band and purchase their chosen costume. Mas Bands all wear matching costumes from the same designer. The costumes are always bright, revealing, and feature lots of feathers, beads, sequins etc.
Most importantly to take part you must be rhythmic and dance your heart out during the parade. And even more important, you MUST have fun while doing so!
Miami Carnival Mas Bands
If you want to take part in the parade you have to join a masquerade band. It isn’t possible to just show up in a beautiful home-made costume and march in the parade. You must select a mas band you want to be part of, wear their costumes and dance through the streets together with your chosen band.
To have the best time at Miami Carnival don’t just be a spectator! Absolutely find a mas band that you want to be part of and join the party! We highly recommend it! Of course you do not have to take part in the parade, you can instead purchase a General Admission ticket and come and enjoy the good vibes and atmosphere.
The Miami Carnival Masquerade Bands are:
Links to official websites and Instagram pages.
- K-PAYA Carnival: Their theme is ‘Imperiled Wonders’. Check out their Instagram.
- Euphoria Mas: Their theme is ‘Rebirth’. Check out their Instagram.
- Party Room Squad Mas: Their theme is ‘Ready for di Road’, check out their Instagram.
- Revel Nation Carnival: Their theme is ‘Pandora’ check out their Instagram.
- Freaks Mas: Their theme Is Revivre. Check out their Instagram.
- Gen X: Their theme is ‘Immortals’. Check out their Instagram.
- D-Junction Mas: Their theme is ‘Mythical Creatures’. Check out their Instagram.
- Mascots International: Their theme is ‘Electric Energy’. Check out their Instagram.
- Savage Mas Productions: Their theme is ‘Egypt’ check out their Instagram.
- One Island Band: This year they are giving their designers a blank canvas and autonomy to freely create and express their carnival outfits. Check out their Instagram.
- Ramajay Mas: Their theme is ‘The Rebirth of Happiness’. Check out their Instagram.
- Fun Generation: You can head to their website to see their amazing 2021 costumes. Or check their Instagram.
- Dingolay Mas: You can head to their website to see their amazing 2021 costumes. Check out their Instagram.
- The Collective Mas: Their theme is ‘A Global Force’.
How do I choose a Mas Band?
Well, that’s a difficult decision because you have so many good options. We recommend browsing all the band pages and Instagram accounts above and see what you like. Maybe you will select your band based on their costumes with some groups wearing very sexy costumes, and others being more conservative. Some people base it on themes. Obviously, money can be a big factor when choosing to play mas.
What is included in the cost of a ticket?
Miami Carnival is obviously different to other Caribbean Carnivals because it takes place in an enclosed park, so there are no stop’s or glamhubs along the way like you would have at carnival in the Caribbean. Along with your costume you will receive meals and snacks, unlimited top shelf alcohol and the band will provide all the party equipment – speakers, DJ etc.
A lot of the more popular bands sell out early, so reserve as soon as you can.
The Ultimate Carnival Party Package!
Carnival Lyfe is one of the best carnival promoters on the scene. Every year they put together the ultimate carnival package that gives you access to 7 of the absolute best, do not miss Miami Carnival Fetes! More event details will be released soon, but they are currently offering early bird packages for only $100!!
We recommend you get in early because they sell out quickly!
J’ouvert Miami Carnival
J’ouvert means day break in French. Miami Carnival J’ouvert is a small parade that occurs in the early morning. This is a tradition that originated in Trinidad and Tobago. J’ouvert is considered to be a livelier carnival celebration because of its spontaneity. It features lots of steelpan bands playing spontaneously while you march along making lots of noise.
There are no pretty costumes to be seen here. If you do get up and attend J’ouvert a little warning is that you must be prepared to get hit with flour, paint, mud, water and maybe even clay. Thousands of partygoers throw paint and mud at each other and there is nothing you can do to avoid it, just get ready to get down and dirty and join in the fun! This tradition stems from a Trinidadian superstition where it was believed that an entire Mas Band is supposed to look like an evil spirit when performing in the dark
Miami Carnival J’ouvert Bands
The J’ouvert bands are separate from the Mas Bands. When you join a J’ouvert Band you will get a costume which is usually a shirt or tank top, that gives you access to parade with the band. The packages will also include unlimited alcohol, breakfast, and a few other perks like a phone pouch, face mask or whistle.
Here are some of the 2021 J’ouvert Packages:
- Red Antz Miami J’ouvert
- Dutty Pleasures J’ouvert by Euphoria Mad
- GenX J’ouvert Immortals
- Jab in D-Junction J’ouvert
- One Island Band J’ouvert
- Fun Generation presents “Beach Vibes” J’ouvert
Party Room Squad Mas Band offers you General Admission to J’ouvert when you purchase a costume in their Mas Band. Freaks Mas Band offers a two-day carnival experience which includes J’ouvert when you purchase a ticket to their Mas Band.
Where to stay for Miami Carnival?
There is plenty of accommodation including hotels, motels, hostels, apartment rentals, B&B’s for all budgets. We recommend you stay on Miami’s famous South Beach strip where there is always a party going on and you’re close to the crystal-clear blue waters and pristine sands of South Beach.
Check out Booking.com for some accommodation options close to Miami Carnival here.
Where to party at the Miami Carnival?
“Party in the city where the heat is on. All night, on the beach till the break of dawn. Welcome to Miami. Bienvenidos a Miami.”
Miami has one of the absolute best party scenes in the world and it features some of the world’s best Carnival promoters. Every type of party you can possibly imagine will be thrown during Miami Carnival weekend! Foam Parties, glow parties, pool parties, raves and hundreds more. Parties take place in clubs, restaurants, hotels, rooftops, boats, pools, wherever. Many nightclubs will feature star performers and DJs but it’s up to your individual taste on what kind of party you feel like.
The Official Miami Carnival Fete List will be released in August.
Where Do I Buy Tickets?
Official Carnival Events
Tickets to the traditional carnival events – Panorama, J’ouvert, official Miami Carnival Parade & Concert and the Junior Carnival they can be purchased here.
Top Carnival Fetes
- The Carnival Lyfe Miami Carnival Package can be purchased from here.
- The All-Black Miami Carnival Yacht Party can be purchased from here.
- The Soak and Wet Miami Carnival Pool Party can be purchased from here.
- The All-White Miami Carnival Yacht Party can be purchased from here.
Miami Carnival Live Music Concert
When the Miami Carnival Parade of the Bands is over the party doesn’t stop there. There is a big live music concert which features Caribbean bands and musicians, mainly soca and Steel Bands. The concert draws big crowds of people who dance, drink, socialise and party the night away. The 2020 Miami Concert line up will be announced closer to the event!
Miami Carnival Panorama Steel Band Competition
“Pan is the rhythm that fuels the lifeblood that flows through the heart of Carnival.”
– Dexter Bleasdell, Steelband Coordinator.
Miami Carnival Panorama Steel Band Competition showcases the rich cultural heritage of Trinidad and Tobago, through melodic, incredible Steel Band Performances. This event takes place on the Friday prior to the Carnival Parade at the Central Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale. Watch world-renowned Steel Bands battle it out for the title of Panorama Champion 2021.
Steel Bands have always been an important part of carnival. Steel Pan was invented back in the 1930’s in Trinidad and is actually the only instrument that was created in the twentieth century. Today this artform is celebrated all over the world and holds great significance in the musical world! Since its inception it has taken the world by storm, with its range, sweet sounds and melodies.
This event is so much fun and a great night out for the entire family! It is one of the absolute highlights of the Miami Carnival! There is a great atmosphere and it draws large crowds who come out to listen to the music, drink a little rum and eat some delicious Caribbean food.
Miami Children’s Carnival
The Miami Carnival also allows the kids to get involved and hosts a Junior Carnival Parade which occurs the week before the Adult’s Carnival Parade. It is essentially a mini version of the main parade. It is a cute and colourful parade that allows the children to experience performing in a parade and is all about keeping the tradition alive for the next generation. It is a fun day out for the whole family!
Crowning of the Miami Carnival King & Queen
The Miami Carnival holds several competitions which are very popular to watch and take part in, if you so wish. The most popular competition of Miami Carnival is the crowning of the Carnival King and Queen. Another favorite is the Miss Miami Broward Carnival Pageant Competition.
Caribbean Street Markets
During Miami Caribbean Carnival street vendors fill the air with exotic smells. There is so much mouth-watering Caribbean food you can eat, from rice and beans to jerk chicken. Or why not drink some delicious Caribbean cocktails because the Caribbean is famous for their rum!
The vendors also sell gorgeous Caribbean arts and crafts that come from many different Caribbean countries. There are clothes, jewelery, t-shirts, bags and so much more.
How to Get to Miami Carnival?
The quickest way to get to Miami is to fly! The city has two well connected international airports. Fly into (MIA) Miami International Airport or (FLL) Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. As this is Miami, the best way to get around is by car!