Miami Carnival: My Experience

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5 days later and I’m still feeling the bass of the speakers, still smelling the aroma of roti chicken and still getting paint out of weird places. This could only be the result of a successful Carnival experience. A week ago, I took a flight down to Miami to experience Miami Carnival for the first time, which is pretty sad given I lived in South Florida for 4 years. I’ve been obsessed with carnival since my first experience back in April when I went to Jamaica!

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if the experience would lack authenticity given that the celebration was in the states. However, I was blown away by the unity of all the cultures that gathered in one place to bacchanal. It’s safe to say, Miami Carnival brought all the ingredients which made an unforgettable experience. From the fetes to the actual road parade of beautiful costumes, Broward and Miami Dade facilitated an experience that would make you appreciate the various caribbean cultures and people.

I wouldn’t consider myself an expert but with two carnivals under my belt, I’ve learned it’s not just about the cultural celebration, it’s also about the people. When I say people, I’m referring to the group of friends you’re with as well as the strangers you meet at the fete. When you’re dancing and drinking during Jouvert, it’s like you’re at Coachella just with paint! Carnival is like the Caribbean version of a family cookout but instead of Frankie Beverley Maze’s Before I Let Go its Famalay by Skinny Fabulous, Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin.

Miami Carnival has been a tradition in South Florida for 35 years and has really become a staple where people from all over are finding their way to the sunshine state for the party! Thank you to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for inviting me and Hotel Croydon for the amazing stay!

Photo Credit: Mike Long

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