Where do the elements of CARIFEST come from?
Many islands in the Caribbean, as well as other locations worldwide, hold Carnival festivities. They lead-up to Lent or commemorate emancipation or independence. They incorporate elements of culture, folklore, religion or spiritualism. Revelers take part in pageants, masquerades, live performances, competitions, panorama, Jouvert and many other activities. What is common among them are vibrantly colored costumes and high energy. When the peoples of the Caribbean immigrated to the US, Canada and other parts of the world, they continued these Carnival traditions. This transplanted phenomenon melds into the celebration life of the new community, to the delight of its many members.
For many years, Twin Cities Carifest organized an elaborate parade. Many costumed individuals marched from the old Whitney Hotel to West River Parkway, the current Festival site, to start Saturday’s festivities. Over the years, the parade had been trimmed down to a vibrant costume march, which CARIFEST’s attendees are encouraged to participate in. The regular costume march is a much anticipated event. However, in commemoration the 20th anniversary, efforts were made to revive the spirit of the former parade. As is the tendency of transplanted peoples and traditions of the Caribbean, it has merged with parade traditions of Minnesota and the US. The goal is to include several units reflecting the variety of the Twin Cities and emulating the liveliness and brilliance of the Caribbean.
Enjoy one of the truly unique parades of the Twin Cities. Visit the Masquerade page for additional details as they are posted.
Learn about various positions and join our volunteer force.
Visit the CARIFEST Volunteer page.
Want to be part of this vivid celebration in another way?