For over thirty years, Miami Carnival has showcased the lively and colorful spirit of the city’s vibrant Caribbean culture and community. In that spirit, Miami Carnival typically is attended by over 70,000 revelers and features a long list of events spanning four days or more. As such, it should not be at all surprising that the Miami Carnival event is among the most anticipated on the annual calendar with all its music, pageantry, cultural history, and tradition. Produced by Miami-Broward One Carnival Host Committee, Inc., Miami Carnival 2022 was a fun-filled and marvelous display of a celebration of all things Caribbean, with attendees not only from the South Florida community, but also from the Caribbean and all around the world.
The Roots of Carnival
It is often said that, from a traditional perspective, Trinidad and Brazil host the ‘Mother of all Carnivals’–especially from the standpoint of their sheer size and magnitude. Historically, Carnival represents a festive season that takes place right before Lent; that is in the month of February or March. The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, for example, is widely regarded as the greatest street parade in the world. Its genesis can be traced back to the era of slavery when the slaves–who were often prohibited from being present at the fancy balls and parties thrown by their masters, took things into their own hands by improvising and staging their own costume driven events in their respective slave quarters.
Carnival is Calypso, Soca and Pan
Calypso features the rythmic and pulsating beats that tend to tell the stories of politics and history and controversy and madness in our daily lives. Then, Soca adds fuel to the spirit to propel action thereby provoking dancing to its heart-pounding and soulful vibe and enerty. What’s more, there is the steel pan or drum which originated in the Caribbean islands by the slaves in times of turmoil and strife.
Miami Carnival 2022
In South Florida (Miami and Fort Lauderdale), Carnival festivities take off in October the week prior to the Columbus Day Holiday Weekend. This year’s installment kicked off with the Junior Carnival Competition on Saturday, October 1st, followed by the Steelband Panorama competition on Friday, October 7th. J’ Ouvert Mas took place early on Saturday morning, October 8th and the carnival celebrations featured the Kings, Queens and Individual Shows and Competitions and the grand finale in the Mas Band Parade and Concert on Carnival Sunday, October 9th. And in the midst of all that, there were top-caliber fetes, parades and concerts all the Miami and Fort Lauderdale environs.
Carnival Parade of the Bands:
An integral and core pillar of Miami Carnival is, of course, the Parade of the bands which always takes place on Carnival Sunday prior to the Columbus Day Holiday. Typically, the Parade of the Bands features more than 18,000 masqueraders in 20 plus mas bands dancing and celebrating along the parade route in Carnival Village South at the Miami-Dade County Fair Expo Complex.
Following the Carnival Parade, the concert segment of Miami Carnival on showcased the top-notch talent where Caribbean soca music is concerned. The concert featured powerhouse soca acts and live bands including Patrice Roberts, Farmer Nappy, Nadia Batson, the A-Team Band, Teddyson John, Skinny Fabulous, just to name a few.
The Headliner for this year’s Miami Carnival Concert was none other than the Soca Queen, Patrice Roberts. Without a doubt, Patrice Roberts, who hails from Trinidad, is a superstar in soca music and her soca vibes and rhythms are bouncy and infectious.
Tipsy Miami Music Festival:
Carnival Weekend in Miami was fully stocked with concerts and fetes all over the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas. Produced by Twisted Entertainment, the Tipsy Miami Music Festival took place at Bayfront Park in Downtown, Miami and included an A-list line up of DJs, including DJ Puffy, Tony Mix, Travis World, Major Penny, Renaissance Disco, and Jus Jay. This marquis musical event was hosted by Patrick D Hypeman and backed by Trinidad’s own–the A Team Band. More than that, Typsy Miami featured an All-Star line up of stars in music, including: Burna Boy, Machel Montano, Teejay, Skinny Fabulous, Kes, Shaggy, and many more.
A top-notch Fete that took place also over Carnival Weekend in the Magic City at the Miami Dade County Fair & Expo Center was dubbed One Fete, which featured exciting performances from the likes of Kes the Band, Raymond & Dil E Nadan, A-Team Band, Patrice Roberts, Nadia Batson, Skinny Fabulous, Farmer Nappy, and Kenneth Salick just to name a few.
All photos by Nick Ford, who lives and works in South Florida.