TELLING STORIES, CHANGING THE CONVERSATION

Los Angeles starts summer with carnival, shows the city’s blooming culture and communities

in Ark Weekender/Arts & Culture by

Carnival came to Los Angeles last week with its annual, Los Angeles Culture Festival and Hollywood Carnival Parade

Los Angeles and its county have an undesirable reputation for being ethnically bland. Better yet, the city gets the opinion that it neglects the full range of ethnic varieties where 10.16 million people live. For the eighth year, Hollywood attempts to remedy this issue with its carnival celebration recognizing festivals of the globe.

Last week, the festival expressed the culture of the hundreds of ethnic communities living in the Los Angeles basin. The celebration featured cultures and traditions from around the world in the form of colorful costumes, dances, food, arts & crafts and music from around the world. Geared to include local communities, this year, the focus was fun, cultural fusion and family. 

Parade goers and masqueraders re-enacted carnivals from many countries — spanning from Trinidad to Guatemala — from paranging to punta rock to gombey traditions. The event marks a litany of summer events in Los Angeles that are free and open to the public. It also shows the growing diasporas in the city that celebrate carnival.

The photo spread shows how both parade goers and audience enjoyed an interactive and lively event.

Beautiful costumes reflected the bright carnival cultures around the world. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Parade goer dances on float, representing a body positive mash up. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Wining to a soca beat. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Bamboo and flags, this parade goer represented his culture and country. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Street festival fun with parade goers dancing to deejays playing soca beats. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Costumes of colored feathers and beading. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Firebreathing masquerader on stilts brought Africa and the Caribbean to Los Angeles. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Parade goer with flag of Belize. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Mas band participant wining to soca music. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Parade goer getting his grove on. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Beautiful costumes representing the Caribbean, Central American and African diaspora. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Mas bands consisted of deejay, band and marauders who costumed and danced throughout the two-mile stretch on Hollywood Boulevard. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Parade goers dance down Hollywood Boulevard with sound deejay and leading dancer on float. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Parade goers dance with and without costumes. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Carnival costuming mixing Asian and Caribbean culture. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Los Angeles carnival parade goers. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant
Carnival would not be carnival without Brazilian drums. Photo credit: Ayanna Shivers and Scotty Bryant

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