Lake Clifton Park is hosting the Baltimore Caribbean Carnival on Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16. The parade and festival are expected to draw thousands of people from around Maryland.As the Baltimore Caribbean Carnival begins Saturday, the sights and sounds of the Caribbean will transform Clifton Lake Park into a celebration of the culture of island nations. The event was named Baltimore City Paper’s “Best Festival” last year and this year’s festival is certain to be just as fun. A parade and festival take place simultaneously on Saturday, while on Sunday, the event is an all-day festival. The parade and carnival are also known as the Baltimore Washington One Carnival and draws attendees from both cities and their surrounding local areas. The yearly event is supported by the Baltimore Office of Promotions and the Mayor of Baltimore, and is hosted by the Caribbean American Carnival Association of Baltimore along with D.C.’s Caribbean Carnival. The carnival features live music and entertainment, Caribbean food vending and lots more. The Saturday parade showcases floats and many attendees will be decked out in Caribbean style costumes as music fills the air. The parade is a long one, lasting five hours on a one-and-a-half-mile stretch. The parade will begin on 900 East 33rd street heading east, turn right on The Alameda and proceed south on Harford Road to St. Lo Drive before concluding in Clifton Park.
Once the parade has ended at 5 p.m., the festival portion of the event will start in the park and run until 10 p.m. The festival resumes on Sunday at 10 a.m. before concluding Sunday evening at 9 p.m. As for the music and entertainment, several “soca” bands and musicians are scheduled to perform. Soca is a musical genre that originated in Trinidad and Tobago. Since the Caribbean sub-genre was born in the early 1970’s, it has evolved into a mix of different styles from its Calypso music roots. Of the scheduled Soca performers, Tobagonian soca musician Shurwayne Winchester is the featured act on Saturday, while the critically acclaimed soca artist Farmer Nappy and several others will perform on Sunday. Farmer Nappy is internationally recognized and was voted MTV Iggy’s “Artist of the Week,” while also having won numerous other awards such as the Cott Awards’ “Groovy Song of the Year” in 2008. The festival will also feature Reggae music, Jamaican Reggae artist Sophia Brown performs Sunday as also will the Reggae band Strykers Posse. Tickets to the event are $15 on Saturday and $20 on Sunday and can be purchased online. For more information, please visit the carnival website. Will you be attending the carnival? Let us know in the comments below!