Written by: David Lawrence
Orlando Carnival Downtown now considered by many to be a major carnival on the carnival circuit is pulling out all stops this Memorial Day weekend to live up to its newly acquired stature. With 3 days of events planned the organizers are bringing to carnival lovers Mas, steelband, top soca artistes, pageantry, parties, art, vendors and foods from Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados and other Caribbean nations making Orlando the place to be this Memorial Day weekend.
The festivities begin on Friday 27th May 2023 with Orlando Carnival’s signature event ‘Carnival On The Runway’. This annual event showcases Carnival Costumes from amateurs and designers. The show exhibits a combination of the most fabulous fashion of mas, and culture highlighting what to wear to the parties – fetes, jouvert, liming, costumes, and Monday wear! ‘Carnival on the Runway’ is taking costumes into high fashion! This year – a designer will win a grand prize of $3000.00.
Every Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend all roads lead to ORLANDO CARNIVAL JOUVERT!
This year Orlando Carnival J’ouvert is shaping up to be one of the CRAZIEST JOUVERTS in North America as Orlando Carnival Downtown & Central Florida Jouvert has joined together to produce one J’ouvert.
More than just PAINT! WATER! MUSIC! FUN! One can expect a water truck, water and paint giveaways to general admission ticket holders who will also get a free CARIB Beer upon entering the park. Food and drinks will be on sale!
Another signature event of Orlando Carnival, ‘The Back in Time Lime’, held later on Saturday evening, is a cultural highlight of the weekend. Guests will be treated to a Caribbean festival with Caribbean food and drinks. Patrons will enter a pan yard, and a calypso tent and experience the riddim section of tassa and African drumming, moko jumbies, fire breathers, and live musical performances. This year, the lyrics man himself “King David Rudder” will be performing live.
At the Back In Time Lime, there is the opportunity to check in at the on-site mas camp to get any last-minute touchups done to your costume. Pick up a backpack for the road and add some feathers to an old one to wear in the park on Carnival Day – even if you were too late to join a band! Patrons are invited to come out in their Traditional Mas customs- Sailor Mas, Ole Mas, and even bring their feathers and be ready to dance.
Back In Time Lime is a family-friendly event. All ages are welcome. Seating is available.
This year the parade of the band is back on Church Street, Downtown Orlando. Sunday at 1 pm the Mas Band parade kicks off down the streets of Church Street surrounding Camping World Stadium with the masqueraders parading through the streets! With over a dozen bands (Illusion Mas, Amour Mas Band, Fete Massterz, Back Yard Mas, Carnival Fantasy Mas Band, Xcellence Mas, Unruly Mas Band, Andy’s Krazy Krew, Sound Quest, Mas Feters, Lavishly Mas, and Heritage Mas 2023) on the road this year, it is expected to be a bumper parade.
At 6 pm the parade is expected to wind down and the carnival shifts into concert mode. With one of the hottest stage show lineups on a Carnival stage, performing this year are the 2023 Reigning Soca Monarch Bunji Garlin, Mr. Killa out of Grenada, Fay Ann Lyons, Adam O, and Pumpa out of the US Virgin Islands, Tony Cuttz and Vicadi Singh bring Chutney to the Carnival Stage and Adrian Dutchin comes to invite you to Cricket Carnival in Guyana with the Orlando Team!
In 2022, Orlando Carnival Downtown was featured in Road Ready – the newest Carnival Travel Reality show and they will be there again to play mas and record another episode.
For more information check out the Orlando Carnival Downtown website.
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