Sat., June 22, 2-8:30 p.m. 2013
$50/masquerade, $10/carnival, $10/afterparty
Columbus may have accidentally discovered the Caribbean, but attendees won’t need to stumble upon this festival. Carifest brings a long weekend full of Bahama Mamas and tropical attire to Charleston. This year’s festival is all about Trinidad and Tobago, which has “the mother of all Carnival celebrations in the Caribbean,” according to Lorna Beck, the founder and president of the South Carolina Caribbean Culture & Heritage Association. The festival kicks off with the Carifest Symposium, where the Trinidad and Tobago Ambassador to the U.S. will do a meet and greet. Later, trade your diplomatic garb for the perfect mask for the Masquerade Fete. But don’t party too hard, since you won’t want to miss Carnival Day on Saturday. Follow the Carifest Carnival Parade from King Street all the way to Brittlebank Park, where you can enjoy live reggae and Soca music, traditional dance performances, fresh seafood and drinks, and colorful costumes. That night you can also enjoy the White After Party at the 787 Bar and Grille in North Charleston, while Sunday will wrap up the cultural merrymaking with a carriage ride tour.