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Cambridge Carnival parade
Cambridge Carnival
Fast Facts

When: Sunday, September 8, 2019, Noon - 6PM

Where: Cambridge MA

Parade Route: Map

Getting There: From Boston by subway, take the MBTA red line to the Central Square stop (for the parade) or one further stop to Kendall Square (for the festival.)

Cambridge Carnival Internatinoal started out in 1992 as a relatively small Boston street fair located in University Park in Cambridge.

Since then, it has become a well known and much celebrated event, and has grown to become the largest festival of any kind of the Cambridge area, as well as being one of the biggest public street parties in all of New England attracting some 100,000 visitors annually.

Today known as Cambridge Carnival International, everyone is welcome including kids and families to the event that traditionally features two stages with live music, DJs, as well as a KidsFest zone.

Traditionally held on the Sunday after Labor Day, watch for the 27th annual Cambridge Carnival to be celebrated this year on Sunday, September 8, 2019.

2018 Cambridge Carnival Schedule

Costume Parade: 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Get treated to performances by steel bands and colorful costumes along a 1.3 mile parade route beginning at River Street and Blackstone Street near the Charles River. The parade travels through Central Square along Massachusetts Avenue, and continues up Main Street ending at Kendall Square near MIT, Cambridge.

Viewing Stage: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Conveniently located where the parade ends in Kendall Square, the viewing stage features guest DJ's as well as live music including Caribbean Gospel, Soca, and Reggae.

scences from the Cambridge Carnival

Colorful scenes from the Cambridge Carnival - all photos courtesy of Paul Bryan

International Stage: 12 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

A block further down from Kendall Square on Ames Street is where band representing several island and South American nations provide the sounds of Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Caribbean, Calypso, Reggae, Compa, Punta, and Salsa music.

KidsFest: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Near the International stage is where kids can find activities for children ages 5 to 14 years include face painting, stilt walking, and arts and craft activities.

All about the Cambridge Carnival

The Cambridge Carnival is based on similar events in Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago, which in turn have roots in the mixing of Caribbean and African cultures dating as far back as the 17th century.

Those attending the Cambridge Carnival can look forward to a festive and colorful atmosphere during the mile-long annual street parade, as well as a huge variety of costumes, Caribbean food, music, dancing, and an easy mix of diverse cultures very akin to a Mardi Gras celebration.

The Cambridge Carnival draws on its ever-increasing popularity to draw participants from everywhere. Northeasterners feature prominently, but people from all across North America as well as international visitors often make it a point to attend while on summer holiday.

Have fun!

Cambridge Carnival around the Web:

Cambridge Carnival International
- The official site with the complete festival and parade schedule, entertainment lineup, travel guide and directions, photos.

Cambridge Carnival on Flickr - Dozens of visitor galleries with colorful images from carnivals past.


also see -> Boston's Irish Heritage Trail | Boston Street Fairs & Festivals

Brooklyn Carnival Parade | Massachusetts Fall Foliage

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