Carnival in Curaçao 2023
Curaçao Carnival is a lively and vibrant event that you won't want to miss. After a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the island's biggest festival is back in full force, and locals of all ages are ready to make up for lost time. This year's theme, "Nos Karnaval," which translates to "Our Carnival," emphasizes inclusivity, inviting everyone to take part and enjoy the festivities.
Children's and Teen's Parade: Fun and Creative Participation
Before the main carnival parade, there is a special children's and teen's parade where young people can participate in fun and creative ways. In the lead-up to carnival, there are numerous parties, events, and celebrations, including jump-ins and Tumba music festivals. During the main event, the "Gran Marcha," around 25-30 groups will showcase their costumes and elaborate floats.
Tumba Festival: Local Artists Compete for Tumba Queen or King
The main genre of music played during carnival is Tumba, a local style that originated in Africa and was brought to Curaçao in the 17th century. The highly-anticipated Tumba festival takes place in January, where local artists compete for the title of Tumba Queen or King, and the winner's song becomes the anthem of the carnival celebrations.
Carnival Dates and Event Details
Carnival events run from February 12-21, with the main event, the "Gran Marcha," taking place on February 19 starting at 10 a.m. The adult parades begin at Franklin D. Rooseveltweg and Jan Noorduynweg in the neighborhood of St. Maria and end at Brionplein in Otrobanda. Spectators can watch along the main roads (through Marchena and Habaai) and some areas offer paid spots for parking and toilets.
Attendee Tips: Comfortable Clothes, Sunscreen, and Good Vibes
When planning to attend, be sure to wear comfortable clothes and sneakers, bring sunscreen, a hat or sunglasses, cash for food, drinks and other expenses, a water bottle to stay hydrated, and most importantly, good vibes! To help keep the island clean during the festivities, reusable carnival cups can be purchased for fifteen guilders at various locations including Sambil, Bugs Bunny Snèk, Dutch Treat Pietermaai, 24 Uur Uit de Muur, and Pompstation Barber.
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