A cultural melting pot, Greater Miami has many different influences that are woven together to create the vibrant fabric of a bustling, diverse city. Seen through the Latino Little Havana where the street signs are in Spanish and you can expect a long lunch with salsa dancing or through the Caribbean Little Haiti where Creole is spoken, the neighbourhood brimming with traditional foods and music. The South Floridian metropolis is one of the most multicultural cities in the United States. Miamians are proud of this, celebrating many carnivals throughout the year which honour each of the different cultures that are injected into the DNA of the city.
One of the most famous, however, is Miami Carnival, a celebration of the city’s Caribbean community and heritage. With around 75,000 people attending the carnival every year, the streets chime with bands of steel drums and a rainbow of costumed masqueraders appears, adorned with sequins, feathers and pearly smiles. But the attendees are not all there simply for fun, some have come to win the Parade of Bands where there is much music and pageantry judged by a panel consisting of members from all over the globe. There is also a Junior Carnival, in which children can take the opportunity to experience and embrace their heritage, participating in events from parades to arts and crafts. Additionally, the night prior to the carnival’s commencement is the tradition of J’Ouvert, where revellers take to the streets in the early hours of the morning dressed as demons and devils to enjoy music and satirically act out their grievances. With these events, Miami Carnival has much for all to discover, learn and enjoy.
Although the streets will look and sound very different this year; the rainbow will turn to grey concrete and the music will turn to silence. For the first time in its 35-year history, the Miami Carnival is not taking place in its usual form due to the ongoing pandemic. However, the carnival committee will not let the virus stop the celebrations, deciding instead, like most Covid-age events, that it should be enjoyed virtually between 8th and 11th October. However, Chair for Miami Broward One Carnival Host committee, Joan Justin does not think that this change is such a bad move for the commemoration of Caribbean culture commenting, “While we will miss hosting attendees into the South Florida area, we are excited to share Miami Carnival with a global audience this year”.
Wherever you may be in the world, Miami Carnival invites you to be part of their day; to be inspired, educated and entertained by a dynamic programme of events which include important elements of the carnival and Caribbean culture. Instead of the streets, our screens will be alight with colourful costumes and our speakers will fill the room with music in the safety of our homes. Even though we are socially distanced, the celebration of Miami’s Caribbean culture will connect and unite us from all around the world. And with this sentiment, it is confirmed: Coronavirus can’t stop the Carnival!
If you want more information, or would like to register your interest in the Virtual Miami Carnival, please visit: https://miamicarnival.org