Caribbean festivals are held in many cities throughout the United States to celebrate the Caribbean immigrant culture and heritage. During its history, New Orleans has experienced distinct Afro-Caribbean cultural influences, so no wonder that the city has its own Caribbean carnival.
Bayou Bacchanal: The Original Caribbean Festival of New Orleans was founded in 2001 by Friends of Culture, a not-for-profit organization formed by locals who are originally from the Caribbean to promote the Caribbean culture and to form a cultural link between Louisiana and the island nations of the Caribbean. The carnival was a perfect way to introduce city residents and tourists to rich and diverse Caribbean culture.
Bayou Bacchanal is one of the many unique and exciting events of New Orleans that draws thousands of tourists every year. A colorful masquerade is one the carnival’s main attractions. Hundreds of masqueraders dressed in exotic costumes dance through the city streets to the beat of steel pans, percussion instruments that originate from Trinidad and Tobago. Anyone may participate in the parade, you don’t even have to be dressed in costume. Just join and have fun!
Along with the parade, the festival program features performances, art exhibitions, parties, workshops, tastings of authentic Caribbean foods, and more. The carnival usually takes place on the first Saturday of November. During this time of the year, the weather is near perfect in New Orleans for outdoor activities because it is neither too hot nor too cold.