Curaçao’s carnival is a long-standing 6-week all-island-consuming celebration at the beginning of each year.
We kick things off with our 4-day musical extravaganza, Festival di Tumba (this year’s winner, Tin Wowo Riba Bo – All Eyes On You by the incredibly talented Dju Dju V), followed by numerous jump-ups / jump-ins to raise funds to cover each Carnival group’s expenses, competitions to select our Prince, Pancho, Reina di Carnival, hours and hours of preparations (designing and sewing costumes, assembling floats, rehearsing bands etc)
Needless to say, if you’re not participating in any of the actual road marches (children, teen, adult), it’s absolutely critical you find your friends and family a front-row spot along the Otrobanda route so you don’t miss out on the *biggest* cultural party of the year!
There’s always a short section in Breedestraat designated for individual chairs: first come, first serve. But don’t bet on them – crazy competitive folks get there at 5 am the morning of the Children’s parade to lock-in their chairs for the rest of parade season.
The vast majority reserve 3/6/12 meters along the Carnival route and pay Asosiashon Grandisimentu Karnaval Kòrsou a precario (reservation fee). Road stands are sometimes built on these reserved spots providing some much-needed shade. Folks get pretty creative with their stands (recycling old Carnival costumes, flags, balloons etc)… But the very best stands have well-stocked, all-everyone-can-drink bars!
This year’s winning Tumba, promises many, many wowos (eyes) along the way!
Special thanks to Aftan Schoonen for taking these awesome photos + video!