This week has been filled with some exciting announcements of a few more carnivals that have confirmed they will be happening for 2022. I’m a firm believer that it’s never fair to really compare carnivals against each other, as each brings their own unique flavour to the circuit. Here’s some of the top carnivals happening that we’d recommend and why:
1. NOTTING HILL
The largest street festival in all of Europe. Notting Hill’s long history starting in the 1960s means that it's really had several decades of bringing various flavours and aspects of the Caribbean carnival to the diaspora. It’s a perfect mix at an international carnival that appeals to different tastes. From Panorama, to calypso competitions, to Kiddies Carnival (Family Day), Sound Systems, Jouvert, Fetes and of course the Road March, it’s all there. One of the features of Notting Hill Carnival is that it’s really become a celebration not just of Afro-Caribbean culture, but Black culture that is massively well attended by spectators; over one million attendees to be exact.
2. ST LUCIA
Dare we say the best kept secret for the carnivals in the Caribbean? Listen, St Lucia has been getting some serious attention for the last few years that keeps on progressing each year. Firstly, it’s one of the few carnivals outside of the pre-Lenten season that gives you TWO days on the road. A definite incentive for many. Fetes, traditional carnival competitions, traditional mas culture and dennery segment (a soca sub-genre), that gives it a unique feeling and musical energy that can legit send you into another realm. And of course, the island is top tier as a tourist destination, so it's excellent to kill two birds with one stone on a visit here.
One thing last year taught us was that Miami was ready for carnival to return, which it did, and for that, you’re guaranteed for it to happen again. The advantages that brings Miami to this list is that it’s an easy go to, literally, for many due to location, whether coming from the Caribbean, other US states or Europe. Despite the road parade not as ‘street friendly’ as most carnival lovers would like, it gets a huge one up for brand familiarity with many fetes that happen globally, making patrons jump right back into what they’ve grown accustomed to. Some of your biggest parties coming out of Trinidad are all happening in Miami, making it a great feters paradise for carnival goers.
Stay tuned to our blogs for more top carnival suggestions to come!