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Cambridge Carnival parade
Cambridge Carnival
Fast Facts

When: Sunday, September 10, 2017, Noon - 7PM

Where: Cambridge MA

Parade Route: Starts on River Street and Blackstone Street near the Charles River, continues up River Street to Massachusetts Avenue and onto Main Street and ends at the Viewing Stand on Main Street at the corner of Albany Street.

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. Both the Open Air Circus and the Children's Museum help contribute to KidsFest, which tries to educate children about prominent international cultures that continue to thrive in the Boston area.

Traditionally held on the second Sunday in September, watch for the historic 24th annual Cambridge Carnival to be celebrated this year on Sunday, September 10, 2017.

2017 Cambridge Carnival Schedule

Costume Parade: 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

The parade features steel bands and a costume competition. The route pans 1.3 miles and the procession kicks off between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. It begins near the Charles River, at River Street and Blackstone Street, then passes through Central Square along Massachusetts Avenue, continues up Main Street and ends in Kendall Square near MIT, Cambridge.

Viewing Stage: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

This stage is where the presentation before the judges takes place. Before and after the parade,  guest DJs will be featured.

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.

Bands representing several island and South American nations will provide the sounds of Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Caribbean, Calypso, Reggae, Compa, Punta, and Salsa music.

Rhythm Stage: 12 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Interactive drumming, dancing, and martial arts demos.

KidsFest: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Activities for children ages 5 to 14 years will include face painting, stilt walking, and arts and craft activities.

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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