Leading up to Carnival, The Parade of the Bands takes place in early October. It features over twenty masquerade bands parading through the city on a six-mile route. Each band selects a theme and depicts characters from traditional Caribbean folklore. They dress in colorful costumes and beads (think, feather headdresses, sequins and ruffles) while dancing and performing their music. The parade is judged by an expert panel, and winners are selected based on creativity, authenticity and presentation.
Once Carnival begins there are non-stop events including The Steelbands where bands compete for the title of “Panorama” champions playing steel pans and drums for the crowd. This year, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Barbados Independence, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, will sponsor and curate the concert mainstage with some of the island’s biggest names in Soca music who include: Alison Hinds, Edwin Yearwood and Lead Pipe & Saddis. Fusing a unique blend of calypso, rock and reggae, Trinidad and Tobago natives Kes the Band are set to headline the main-stage at this year’s Miami Broward Carnival concert. Other heavy-weight artists and bands include: Fusion Band, King Vers, Karma Band, The Original Burning Flames, Julien Believe and more. Special appearance by R.City, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands duo, also known as Rock City, of the hit song “Locked Away” ft. Adam Levine.
The Carnival Concert is a showcase of Caribbean talent where acts from the Hispanic and Haitian communities share in the tradition of Carnival and Caribbean music.
One of the biggest highlights of Carnival is the food from Caribbean islands, like the Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, Guyana and Dominican Republic. Revelers also enjoy rum and other traditional beverages from across the islands. Dig into delicious jerk, curry and stews—some of the favorite dishes of the tropics.
Carnival culminates in the crowning of the Carnival King and Queen Panorama, as well as the Junior Carnival and the Miss Miami Broward Carnival Pageant.
Travel to the Carnival festival at the Miami DADE fairgrounds is easy and convenient. Shuttle buses will be provided from the Miami Dade Transit Golden Glades bus depot (in North Miami-Dade) and Tropical Park (in S.W. Miami Dade on 40th Street/Bird Road). Patrons will be able to park and ride for free to the Miami -Dade County Fairgrounds. The shuttle service party buses will run all day. Schedules of the shuttle services will be posted on the festival website.
Various clubs and venues host multiple nightlife events not officially affiliated with Miami Broward One Carnival, like the I Love Soca party at Mango’s Tropical Café.