What to know about Boston J’ouvert and Caribbean Carnival Parade

Here are details on this year’s J’ouvert carnival parade and festival in Roxbury and Dorchester. Thousands of revelers are expected to turn out this weekend for Boston’s annual J’ouvert and Caribbean Carnival Parade, bringing a day of free music, food and celebration to Dorchester and Roxbury.

J’ouvert means “dawn” or “daybreak,” and ushers in a day’s worth of celebrations that honor Caribbean culture. Participants often wear headpieces of horns and feathers as well as vibrant masks, and cover themselves with paint and oil as they dance and sing to Caribbean music. Food vendors will also offer up an array of traditional Caribbean fare.

J’ouvert, however, usually follows a night of partying. Though last year’s Caribbean festival was peaceful, police will be on guard this weekend because of violence in previous years. In 2015, one person was killed and five others shot the night before J’ouvert. Boston police linked the violence to the festivities.

The Caribbean American Carnival Association of Boston (CACAB) puts on the annual Trinidad style festival, and has done so since its founding in 1973. Admission to the family-friendly Jouvert and Caribbean Carnival Parade is free and open to the public. Here’s what to know ahead of the 2018 J’ouvert and Caribbean Carnival parades in Boston.

carnival parade route map

When and where is the 2018 Boston Jouvert Parade? Route and time

The 2018 Jouvert celebrations kick off on Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester on Saturday, Aug. 25. But Jouvert parade-goers should plan to set their alarms early — festivities begin at 6 a.m. The Jouvert parade route is the shorter of the two parades, at about 1 mile long. The staging area is located at Kerwin Street and Talbot Avenue, and the parade travels along Blue Hill Avenue to the Franklin Park Zoo. These streets will be closed to traffic and parking throughout the day.

J'ouvert and carnival parade

When and where is the 2018 Boston Trinidad Carnival Parade? Route and time

The 2018 Boston Carnival Parade route will unfold on the heels of Jouvert, beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25. The Trinidad style carnival parade route runs about 2.1 miles, and starts at the corner of Warren Street and MLK Boulevard in Roxbury. From there, the carnival parade travels down Warren Avenue and along Blue Hill Avenue to the review stand at the Franklin Park Zoo. The staging area for the carnival parade is along MLK Boulevard. These streets will be closed to traffic and parking throughout the day. 

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