Planning for Miami Carnival 2019? Don’t know where to start?
Here’s a quick guide on everything you need to know about planning for Miami Carnival 2019.
According to Miami Carnival Organization, the parade will be held SUNDAY OCTOBER 13th, 2019. Suggested dates of travel would be arriving Tuesday (October 8th, 2019) to Thursday (October 10th,2019) before Carnival Day and leaving Monday (October 14th, 2019) or Tuesday (October 15th, 2019).
Depending on where you are booking your accommodations or where you can get the cheapest flight will determine where you can fly in. Airport codes are MIA (Miami International Airport) and FLL (Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport).
Where to stay?
So location wise you really have to think about where carnival is and where fetes are typically held because you will either be driving or taking Lyft/Uber.
Get your first $20 for FREE when you use LYFT here: https://www.lyft.com/idi/CRISTA270886
So I’m making these recommendations based off of where I’ve stayed in the past and where parties are normally held as well as driving distance to stadium. Hotels, Airbnb’s, Recommended areas of stay:
- Miami Beach
- North Miami/North Miami Beach
- South Beach
Before booking your accommodations please GOOGLE MAP distance from desired accommodations to J’ouvert and carnival. If you book a place centrally, these two events would “hopefully” be the furthest drives/Lyfts/Ubers.
THINGS TO REMEMBER FOR MIAMI CARNIVAL 2019
Miami Carnival 2019 will be held in the…
Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds
10901 SW 24 St Miami, FL 33165; gates open 11:30am – 11:00pm.
Spectators can purchase tickets HERE.
Miami Carnival J’ouvert will be held at…
Miami Carnival Bands/Who To Play Mas With?
Check out this list of some popular Miami carnival bands here.
I’ve personally played with the following bands: Freaks Mas, Mascots International, Party Room Squad and Revel Nation Carnival. Out of all my Miami Carnival band experiences; Revel Nation has given me a top notch carnival experience from registration to crossing the stage so definitely will be jumping with them again this year. Read last year’s review on Revel Nation here.
TIP: Find out where and when the carnival bands will be distributing costumes if you can before registration because picking up costumes can be a doozy especially since fetes don’t launch til after carnival bands. Another option would be to use a courier service or arrange with the band a more feasible date once your schedule is finalized.
Miami Carnival Events/Fetes
I know most people gravitate towards fetes but I think its especially important to recognize the cultural aspect as well. Here are the OFFICIAL notable events for Miami Carnival 2019 and some FAQ’s about them.
Miami Carnival Jr. Carnival (Saturday October 5th, 2019) 12pm – 10pm
Held at the Central Broward Regional Park; the Jr. Carnival is carnival time for the kiddies. Kiddies and parents can choose from kiddie carnival bands such as Wassi Babes, Royalty Kids and more. Or if you and your kids just want to spectate at this family friendly event — you can buy spectator tickets HERE starting at $10.00 for entrance into the park.
Miami Carnival Panorama (Friday October 11th, 2019) 4pm -11pm
Panorama will take place at the Central Broward Regional Park smack dab in the middle of Miami Carnival frenzy. A pretty much all evening event of your favorite soca music played by the likes of steel pan bands Melo Groove and more. Check out a snippet from last year’s competition below. Ticket start at $15.00 and you can get them online HERE.
Miami Carnival J’ouvert (Saturday October 12th, 2019) 7am -3pm
J’ouvert is one of my favorite events and probably my most favorite event of last year SERIOUSLY. Held at the Central Broward Park again this year; it starts at 7am and ends at 3pm but TIP: GET THERE EARLY because parking can become a hassle or take a Lyft/UBER (just tote garbage bags to return home in). Miami Carnival Organization did a great job at compiling all the bands for J’ouvert HERE.
TIP: If you don’t have the budget for a J’ouvert package; you can definitely spectate at the low cost of $25.00- get your park access tickets HERE.
Make sure you bring your umbrella/lawn chair and cash for food/drinks and wear something you don’t mind getting dirty. 😉
Miami Carnival Parade of Bands (Sunday October 13th, 2019) 11am -11pm
The day most have been waiting for is the official Miami Carnival Day Parade. By now you would have already registered for your costume and experienced the aforementioned parties/events. IF YOU HAVE NOT- don’t fear, Miami Carnival Org. has you covered.
Spectators have two options:
- General Park Access (starting at $30)
- VIP Park Access (starting at $125)
VIP Park Access INCLUDES:
– EXCLUSIVE ENTRANCE
– VIP AREA WITH A RAISED STAGE TO VIEW THE PARADE
– 2 MEALS
– 4 ALCOHOLIC DRINKS, 4 NON ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
– SNACK AND O’DEVOURS
– SEATING AREA
Miami Carnival Concert (Sunday October 13th, 2019) 3pm -11pm
So the party doesn’t just stop at carnival. The organizers of the 2019 Miami Carnival also put on a huge concert with the biggest Caribbean acts from all countries on the parade grounds so masqueraders and spectators alike can enjoy. It is included in the park entrance fee and more information will be released closer to Miami Carnival dates.
THINGS TO REMEMBER FOR MIAMI CARNIVAL DAY/EVENTS
- Children under 12 are FREE for all Miami Carnival events
- There is a FREE shuttle park and ride service on Carnival Day for masqueraders and masqueraders have their own designated parking.
- Shuttle and park ride service from Golden Glades, Lauderhill Performing Art Center, Tropical Park and more to be announced
Depending on where you’re flying from (try Google Flights) and what dates you choose are all determining factors for your budget. Also depends on what time of the year you are buying your flight so the earlier the better.
- International (i.e. NAS, YTO, LHR) can start at 350+ to $600
- Domestic (i.e ATL, NYC) can start as low as $170- 250+
Accommodations (*Oct 10-14*)
- AirBnB’s (average $60 – $150 a night)
- Hotels (average $90 to $200+ a night)
This depends on you. Costumes can range from about $300+ for male and female backline, midline and other options depending on the band can vary depending on what you want. Frontline/individuals can start at $600+ depending on what band you choose. Budget $150+ for costume registration/deposits. Bands launch around June and later.
Another variable that depends on dates, stamina, time of stay and mostly YOU! Check out last year’s fete list HERE.
Some events can cost starting at $10 and go all the way up to 100+ for all inclusive parties. Average about $300-$500 for fetes/events.
- Rentals/Gas (average $2.50-$3 a gallon) – Rentals can cost you minimum $55 USD if you book EARLY.
- Uber/Lyft – this is my go to because nobody got time for a DUI but be aware of surges. I averaged about $250-$300 just to be safe for Miami Carnival weekend (Thursday to Monday)
TIP: You need GPS to navigate the South Florida roads so download Google Maps, Waze, Maps etc so you don’t get lost. Also when renting ask about costs for tolls etc.
I say budget $50-$75 a day for however long you’re staying for emergencies, food, extras etc.
And the damage you will incur on your credit cards is: $1300-$1500 MINIMUM (that is starting costs)
Now this depends on how many people you are traveling with, how many events you are going to, what kind of costume you choose and also where you’re flying from and how early you buy your tickets. TIP: Look for the early bird tickets because fetes and all the aforementioned are not cheap. Also, you can also get your first $10 dollars (for free) for carnival with Qapital (US based accounts only) using my referral link HERE.
Now that you know EVERYTHING you need to know about Miami Carnival 2019, I will see you on the road.
DesireeJune 17, 2019
Hi! Do you know any carnival concierges that have packages for Miami 2019? I’ve been looking everywhere!
BahamianistaJune 17, 2019
Hey Desiree so the ones I’ve used before don’t really do Miami packages. What do you need the concierge service for in particular? Planning the whole trip or certain parts?
BahamianistaJune 29, 2019
Noni Carnival has a Miami Carnival package
BahamianistaJune 30, 2019
Hey Desiree hopefully you can see this. NoniCarnival has packages for Miami Carnival this year. I’ve never used them and cannot vouch for their service but that is the only concierge I’ve seen so far offering the service
jENNJuly 28, 2019
Hi, will you/have you done a guide for carnival in New York?
BahamianistaJanuary 13, 2020
Hello. Sorry about the late reply. No I don’t have a guide for the Labor Day Parade but any specific questions – you can email me at [email protected]
RaynellAugust 8, 2019
If i want to enter as a spectator, can i get my own costume and jump in the line?
BahamianistaJanuary 13, 2020
Thank you for reading… so you will have to contact or register with a carnival band to get a costume. I have seen on lookers wear costumes but that doesn’t give them entry onto the carnival route or the stage. Hope that helps.
AshleyOctober 15, 2019
Are the women in the bands usually the only ones who wear the pretty feather costumes? Do you see women in general admission wear feather costumes too?
BahamianistaJanuary 13, 2020
Hey Ashley, usually you have to register with a costume band for the big feathered costumes. Sometimes I see onlookers or persons in GA wear costumes but not usually. HOpe that helps.