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Steel bands, partying, costumes and a parade: Miami Carnival celebrates 35 years

Fall is here. And we are so ready for Miami Carnival.

The 35th annual extravaganza of all things Caribbean — music, food, crafts and culture — comes to the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds Oct. 13. Sunday’s celebrations kick off at 11 a.m. and run through 11 p.m.

“For over 35 years, Miami Carnival has endeavored to be the nucleus of Caribbean culture during every Columbus Day weekend on South Florida,” said Joan Hinkson, Board Chair of the Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee.

Good news: You can pregame in the days leading up to the big event. Save the date(s). A number of festivities are located at Central Broward Regional Park.

JUNIOR CARNIVAL

Oct. 5: This popular, kid friendly mainstay is all about passing the Carnival baton to the younger generation. Mini revelers (14 and under) dance about the park in colorful costumes to the sweet sounds of soca played by a handful of local bands. Noon to 10 p.m. $10. Kids under 12 free. Food vendors on site. Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 NW 11th Place, in Lauderhill.

PANORAMA

Oct. 11: Here’s your chance to watch five awesome steel bands compete for prize money and serious cred: the title of SteelBand of the Year. 4 to 11 p.m. $15. Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 NW 11th Place, in Lauderhill.

OFFICIAL J’OUVERT

Oct. 12: J’ouvert (opening in French) is named after a huge street party started in Trinidad and now a celebration among a number of Caribbean people. More than 25 mas bands are expected on site at this sure to be amazing, costume-rich blowout. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. $25. Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 NW 11th Place, in Lauderhill.

PARADE OF BANDS AND SOCA CONCERT

Oct. 13: The culmination of Miami Carnival all goes down at noon Sunday at Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, 10901 SW 24th St., Miami. The Parade of Bands features 15,000 masqueraders dressed in a kaleidoscope of colors. Think lots and lots of giant feathers, dramatic head dresses, sparkles and skin. Come for the rainbow spectacle and stay for the soca. At the Carnival’s mega calypso concert at 3 p.m., you can treat your ears to tunes representing such islands as Trinidad (Kes, Dil-E-Nadan, Farmer Nappy); Grenada (Mr Killa, Christy Delves); Barbados (King Bubba, Trevon Vibez); and Jamaica (Kiprich, Stacious).

For advance tickets: www.miamicarnival.org. Tickets will also be on sale at the door.

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