Carnival is hands down one of the most exciting times of the year in the Caribbean! The vibrant colors and lively spirit of the event continues for several weeks, with plenty of parades, upbeat music, costume contests and celebratory food and drink.
This year on St. Maarten, the island celebrates its 50th Carnival season from April 20 – May 7. Originated back in 1969, Carnival is a way to celebrate the life of the island, its traditions and its people, and we don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun! Check out all of the festivities planned for this year:
MARCH 16 – APRIL 20
During the month leading up to Carnival season, you’ll find “jump-ups” (fabulous street parties) and entertaining events all over the Dutch side of the island, including colorful parades, the highly anticipated Carnival Queen elections and friendly competitions.
This is the official start of Carnival on St. Maarten, marked by the opening of the Carnival Village in Phillipsburg. The celebration includes sizzling street food, live music and fun activities for the whole family.
The heart and soul of any Caribbean Carnival revolves around traditional music, including the island’s popular Soca style. On April 24, watch as Soca artists hit the high notes for a chance to win $10,000 and the title of best
Groovy or Power Soca at the annual Soca Rumble.
APRIL 28 & APRIL 30
Join hundreds of spectators for the peak of this year’s Carnival at the Junior Carnival Parade and Cultural Showcase on April 28 and the Grand Carnival Anniversary Parade on April 30. Follow along as animated participants decked out in vibrant glitter, colorful feathers, sparkling sequins and elaborate headdresses dance through town.
MAY 1 – MAY 4
Soak in the sweet sounds of the Caribbean for three nights of lively back-to-back performances from the Noche Latina, International Soca and One Love Reggae concerts.
Time to pack up the colorful beads and feathered costumes. May 7 marks the official end of the 2019 Carnival season on St. Maarten with an exuberant closing ceremony and the traditional burning of King Momo, a fiery spectacle for all.