St. Kitts Island of St. Kitts & Nevis ( KN ) - Travel Guide

Join in the fun as the two-island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis celebrates carnival! The annual carnival, held between mid-December and early January, boasts a multitude of festivities that attract both locals and tourists to the capital of Basseterre for an unforgettable cultural event.

In addition to lively street parties and colorful parades, the St. Kitts and Nevis Carnival features live calypso and reggae music from local artists. Boat rides, talent pageants, and dance shows invite travelers to both watch and participate in the boisterous and vibrant activities. 

Jump into the celebration by attending the opening night gala where performers dress in masks and costumes covered in sequins, flowers, feathers, ribbons and mirrors. These entertainers charm audiences with performances that combine traditional African and European dance techniques to produce a distinctively Caribbean style. Throw on your own mask—or scour the local craft market for one—and boogie until dawn at the opening night gala. Or dance in the street during J’ouvert Jam, a late-night party filled with food, music and, of course, lots of dancing. Those with children in tow should seek out the troupes of clowns that perform during the St. Kitts and Nevis Carnival. The clowns’ wild antics, including dancing, tricks and live musical performances, will entertain the entire family.

Unlike many carnivals taking place in the Caribbean, the St. Kitts and Nevis Carnival celebrates Christmas along with the Carnival festivities, creating a holiday spirit and enthusiasm unique to St. Kitts and Nevis. Christmas carolers rejoice alongside carnival performers and everyone--young and old, tourist and resident--contributes to the festive holiday fun. Other notable events, from the Folklore Extravaganza to the New Year’s Parade to the final Las’ Lap Parade, make the St. Kitts and Nevis Carnival a must-see event.

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