Miami-Dade and Broward can hardly stomach each other most of the time. They're up there and we're down here, and mostly that's the way we'd like to keep it. But when it comes to watching scantily costumed ladies dance to reggae, calypso, soca, and other steel-drum-heavy Caribbean music, well, that seems like something we can all agree on.
Take what happens in Rio de Janeiro in the spring (minus the floats and totally exposed boobies), throw some Caribbean jerk spice on it, and you have Miami Carnival (not to be confused with Carnaval Miami on Calle Ocho), which straddles the county line.
The carnival is about much more than cheap thrills, but honestly, that's a pretty big lure. On Sunday, the ladies dance along with a procession of bands starting on NW 37th Avenue at 199th Street and travel east until they reach 26th Avenue, where they head north to Sun Life Stadium. Once the bands reach the stadium, they battle for band-of-the-year honors and, of course, county bragging rights.
The Sunday carnival is the culmination of the One Carnival festivities, which bring together the two largest Caribbean festivals in Miami-Dade and Broward. For information on other events over the weekend click here.
The festival first started in Miami Gardens about a quarter century ago and it was the construction of what was then Joe Robbie Stadium that forced the Miami Carnival, Inc. organizers to move south to downtown Miami. Now, they're back and this time the parade winds its way through the city and eventually finds itself inside the very place that caused its exit in the mid-1980s. When the Carnival moved back to Miami Gardens three years ago it also merged with the Broward Caribbean Carnival. Police estimate that 100,000 people attended all the events included as part of last year's carnival. That means a lot of traffic and pasties.
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Miami Carnival, Sun Life Stadium (2269 NW 199th St. Miami Gardens) at 11 a.m. Sunday. The street parade is free but tickets to Sun Life Stadium are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Call 305-653-1877 or visit miamibrowardcarnival.com for the street parade route.