Saturday afternoon (August 29) is the annual Boston Caribbean Carnival in Dorchester, an explosion of color and sound that shouldn’t be missed.
Sadly, the Caribbean Carnival tends to only get mainstream media attention when problems – real or perceived – arise. While the Saturday afternoon parade and festival from Roxbury to Franklin Park is a peaceful, family-friendly event, the early-morning J’ouvert celebration has been the center of more debate. Last year a tragic shooting occurred at the same time as J’ouvert although, as organizers point out, it was several blocks from the parade and did not involve any of its participants. Following a summer of meetings with local police and officials, J’ouvert will now start on Talbot Avenue and run from 6 to 10 a.m.
Carnival also means a slew of soca concerts and special events, and this year is no exception. Highlights include the 6-artist Energy in the City taking place Friday night at the Reggie Lewis Track Center and a potent Trinidad Meets Barbados double bill of soca divas Alison Hinds and Denise Belfon on Saturday at the William E. Reed Auditorium.
For those who want to join the party but haven’t gotten their supplies together the BostonCarnivalVillage website is sponsoring a Friday night boat cruise with face masks provided to patrons. Meanwhile, Boston’s most inclusive Caribbean event, the bi-weekly GLBT-friendly Controversy Party at the Machine Nightclub, revives its popular Carnival edition on Saturday night.
— By Noah Schaffer