ROXBURY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — After a two year hiatus, Boston's Caribbean Carnival was back for its 49th anniversary on Saturday. The day consisted of brightly colored costumes, soca music, entertainers, vendors, dancing, and more.
"And I'm just loving it, I'm loving it," Grand Marshal Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins said while showing WBZ's Suzanne Sausville his pageant wave.
Sausville saw Haitian, Dominican, Jamaican, Trinidad, and Barbados flags being flown at the celebration. The day started at 5 A.M. at Millet Street and Talbot Avenue for J'ouvert, the unofficial start of Carnival. Then at 1 P.M., event-goers joined again for the Mas Carnival Parade at Martin Luther King Boulevard for a day of festivities at Franklin Park.
The band lineup consisted of Rara Bel Poze, Lapou Cabrit, Hyde Park Lions/ ERS, Tempo Int'l Rythm Section, Wadadli Vaga Bon, Jam Karnah, French Konexion, Wick'd Jab/ Jab Jab, One Band, and Team SI.
"This is about pageantry, this is about tradition, this is educational, and this is about our economy," Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said at the parade.
The Caribbean American Carnival Association of Boston is the largest BIPOC celebration in Boston and has become a way to boost the economy among minority owned small businesses in the city, according to the Caribbean American Carnival Association of Boston.
In preparation for the event, CACAB gave away ten carnival costumes as a part of a contest earlier in the month for those registered to attend.
This year, Misfit Carnival Boston decided not to partake in the event, saying "We hope everything around the carnival treatment and overall functions around carnival gets better for the mas bands and the people of Boston," on their Facebook page.
Controversy with leadership at CACAB led to an online petition and several long-time Carnival guests opting out of this year’s event.
While the parade was smaller than in past years, thousands of Carnival-goers gathered to share their culture and celebrate tradition with the community.
WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (wbzSausville) has more: