Atlanta Caribbean Carnival

Atlanta Caribbean Carnival
During the Memorial Day weekend, the streets of Atlanta are filled with the sound of calypso and soca music. This is the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival, an annual festival that highlights Caribbean culture.

With its mild climate and plentiful trees, Atlanta is a perfect location for open-air festivals and other events. Among the city’s festivals, there are many ethnic events including Festival Peachtree Latino, the National Black Arts Festival, the Atlanta Greek Festival, the Atlanta Turkish Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Atlanta Caribbean Festival.

The Atlanta Caribbean Carnival was conceived in 1987 by a diverse group that represented several Caribbean islands. They came together to introduce the metropolitan Atlanta community to Caribbean culture through a West Indian style carnival. The first Atlanta Caribbean Carnival took place in 1988 and became the official kick-off of the carnival season in the United States.

In 2003, several leaders of local masquerade bands formed the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival Bandleaders Association (ACCBA) to represent the needs and interests of the masquerade bands and their leaders in the planning of the carnival. Since 2005, AACBA has produced the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival and other events that help promote diversity, art education, and the various forms of Caribbean culture.

The Atlanta Caribbean Carnival kicks off on Friday night with J’ouvert, a late night party that lasts until the wee hours of the morning. But the highlight of the carnival is the Carnival Parade that starts at noon on Saturday. It features several mas bands in custom made Caribbean carnival costumes, each with its own style and theme. Atlanta’s carnival bands include Caribbean Gems, Fun Zone, Kathy’s Kreation, Mystikal, PanSonics, Taste of Elegance, United Ramplers, and others.

Alongside J’ouvert and the Carnival Parade, the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival features performances at the Festival Village in Atlanta’s Central Park, parties, vendors and more.

Atlanta Caribbean Carnival

Photo: Mo Elmore




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