Cambridge Carnival comes to Central Square

Cambridge Carnival Celebrates 19 Years of International Rhythms

Be sure to come to Central Square to view the parade Saturday September 10. Rain date is Sunday September 18th. Cambridge Carnival International,, is a colorful and festive celebration rooted in African traditions is preparing for the 19th annual Caribbean and Mardi Gras style festival and parade. The event is held annually the weekend after Labor Day. This year’s new date is Saturday, September 10, 2011, 12 noon – 7pm in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a rain date of Sunday, September 18, 2011.

Cambridge Carnival, a Cambridge institution, is the largest festival in Cambridge, attracting more than 150,000 spectators to this free annual cultural event celebrating the best of Cambridge’s diversity. The festival is a vehicle to bring together Cambridge’s diverse community for a spectacular annual costume parade and celebration.

The highlight of the festival is a grand costume parade accompanied by rich rhythms promoting all types of cultures. Revelers masquerade through the streets of Cambridge in dazzling handmade costumes dancing to the international beat and flavor of Carnival—Cambridge style. The costume parade route spans 1.3 miles, starts at 12:30pm and begins near the Charles River at River Street, runs through Mass Avenue, and ends in Kendall Square near MIT, Cambridge. The festivities in Kendall Square begin at 12 noon and features live music, a KidsFest, ethnic foods and global crafts.

Three music stages boast a powerful line up of local bands and DJ’s. The International Stage will feature World Music, Haitian Roots, Reggae, and Soca. The Rhythm Stage offers interactive music and dance performances and includes acoustic and folkloric rhythms from around the globe, including African dance, salsa and drumming. The Viewing Stage is where the costumes groups are presented formally in front of a team of judges. Preceding the judging, there will be local DJ’s featured spinning their best Caribbean tunes. Several steel bands and percussion groups will join in the parade.

Cambridge Carnival is one of twenty-four North American Caribbean-style carnivals that showcase costumes that combine wire-bending, masks, music, steel pan, street-parades, dancing, and food and craft exhibits, to display the diverse cultures of all the countries and Caribbean islands. Cambridge Carnival International is free and can be accessed via public transportation via the MBTA red line. Take the MBTA to Central Square for the parade and to Kendall Square for the festival site.

This year’s major sponsors include, Metro PCS, Relay Rides and Radio Disney. For general information, call (617) 863-0476, or visit the website at

Please note this is a new date this year to pay respect to any memorial ceremonies related to the 10th anniversary of 9-11.

Share the post