Miami Broward One Carnival returns to South Florida

The two-day Caribbean cultural celebration will take place from Oct. 8-9.


Photo courtesy of Miami Broward Carnival

Celina DeCastro, Contributing Writer

Miami will see the return of steel drums, the faint smell of various jerk and curry seasonings and the sight of Caribbean countries’ flags waving in the air when the Miami Broward One Carnival comes to South Florida Oct. 8-9.

The event celebrates the various Caribbean and West Indian cultures present in the area. Made an official carnival event in 1999 in Florida, but held for 32 years beforehand, it is based off the Trinidad and Brazilian annual carnival that occurs before lent in February.

“Carnival is the biggest culture shock experience in South Florida,” said Billyne Francois, a Florida Atlantic Haitian-American junior communication major. Francois also serves as the director of activities of the Caribbean Student Association at FAU.

The junior emphasized the amount of diversity in South Florida and that it’s important for people to be exposed to other cultures and to be able to indulge in them.

Chinese-Jamaican junior hospitality management major Keith Liu said, “This is a mashup of every Caribbean culture.” Liu acts as the promoter of Cooler Wet Fete J’ouvert Band.

J’ouvert bands consist of hundreds of people dancing and throwing paint, colored powder, mud and chocolate syrup at the crowd while simultaneously following a truck blasting Caribbean music. Traditionally in the Trinidad Carnival, J’ouvert begins at 4 a.m.

“Globalization works in the favor of culture, this is the expression of every Caribbean culture,” said Liu.

“This is the heart of carnival,” said Robert Adams, CEO of Moksha4life J’ouvert band. Adams said J’ouvert represented the beginning of the carnival celebration.  

Francois said, “I went to J’ouvert for the first time last year, I’m now making it a tradition to go every year.”

“My favorite part about carnival, besides the drinking, is the music. I am a Soca person, even though I am Haitian,” said Francois. Soca is a combination of soul and traditional calypso music — a style of Caribbean rhythm.  

After J’ouvert takes place on Saturday, the Carnival Masquerade Parade will begin on Sunday in Miami.

Over 20 masquerade bands with over 18,000 masqueraders will follow their select music truck containing a DJ who will play Caribbean music.

The masquerade bands each follow a Caribbean folklore theme as they dress and parade through the Miami fairgrounds. Those participating in the masquerade dress in colorful costumes constructed of beads, sequins, ruffles and feathered headdresses.

“This gives us the freedom to release all the negative energy in life … Life is to live,” Adams said.

After the parade ends, the masqueraders march to the main stage so that judges can determine who the Band of the Year will be.

Last year, One Island Band won the Band of the Year award in front of over 25,000 carnival attendees.

Thanks to this year’s fall break on Oct. 10-11, students are more excited to celebrate carnival during the weekend. Francois said, “I will be … [partying] even more, I’m ready for it … That means I can party Sunday and Monday, recover Tuesday and be ready for class on Wednesday.”

According to Francois, FAU’s Caribbean Student Association will not be officially participating with a masquerade band or vendor tent, although there is a possibility in the future that they will.

Last year about 25,000 people attended the event, according to vice chair of the Miami Broward One Carnival Board Sydney Roberts. This year, he is hoping for an extra 5-10,000 more attendees.

“All islands participate in carnival, being the last carnival of the season, we try to bring all the carnival cultures and people all over to Miami,” Roberts said.

Adams said, “My favorite thing about carnival weekend is to see thousands come together as one.”

As well as entertainment, food vendors will show off their culinary style from their different countries of origin like Trinidad, Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Guyana, among others.

Other Caribbean traditional and exotic drinks will be sold as well. Drinks known throughout the Caribbean will be present for those that are of age, like Trinidad’s Carib beer and Jamaica’s Red Stripe beer.

Roberts said, “One of the best things is the work and going up on stage, and seeing everyone on the crowd having fun and celebrating the culture … This is carnival.”

On Oct. 8 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the annual J’ouvert will take place at Central Broward Regional Park with tickets starting at $25. The parking entry fee will be $1.50 per person for ages six and above.

The Miami Broward One Carnival Parade and Concert will take place on Oct. 9 at 10941 SW 24th St., Miami from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are on sale now starting at $30 and $100 for VIPs.

The event will also offer free shuttle services to and from the park between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. General parking will be free at the venue.

Tickets for both days can be purchased here.

Schedule of events

The Miami Broward One Carnival also promotes and is the theme of several events during Columbus Day weekend.

Friday, Oct. 7:

Fantastic Friday:

Central Broward Regional Park

3700 NW 11th Place, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311

Noon to 11 p.m.

Food truck Invasion, the King and Queen Costume Competition and Steel Band Panorama Competition will all take place at this event.  

Tickets are $15.

Info on the event can be found here.

Moksha Glow Party N2 J’ouvert 2016:

2560 Service Road, Opa Locka, FL 33054

10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Experience the glow-paint themed party that happens before J’ouvert.

Tickets are $35.

Info on the event can be found here.

Monday, Oct. 10:

Foam Wet Fete Party:

America’s Backyard

200 West Broward Blvd., Downtown Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311

5 p.m. to midnight

Hosted by Papa Keith of 103.5 The Beat, this carnival-themed foam party will feature guest DJs including Eccentrix Sound, Dream Team, Ryan Sayeed, Riggo Suave and more.

Ticket prices start at $25.

Info on the event can be found here.

Moksha Monday Appreciation Party:

2560 Service Road, Miami

4 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Free appetizers. Free entry. Take part in a glow party and J’ouvert.

Info on the event can be found here.

Celina DeCastro is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @Deca_Celina.