IT’S CARNIVALE TIME
Living It Up in the Sunshine
While the Southern states are pulling out their jimmy jams and Uber Eats menus, the good folk at the northern end of the country are just gearing up. The days are getting shorter and with them comes cooler temps and the ability to wear jeans once again, cracking sunsets over the Coral Sea and the biggest tropical festival this side of Rio de Janerio. Celebrating 25 years this year, the Port Douglas Carnivale - a spectacular long weekend of arts and culture, foodie and family events all set in North Queensland’s tropical paradise – is BACK!
Originally held to commemorate the start of the sugar cane harvesting season, Port Douglas Carnivale is now considered the official opening of the tourism high season in the tropics. Attracting tens of thousands of keen local, interstate and international guests to the postcard-perfect Port Douglas, Carnivale is a must-do for anyone who loves food, fun and sun!
Celebrated over one jam-packed weekend in May, expect to see the very best of what the tropics has to offer – a twilight street parade, lashings of good food and good wine, talented local and national musicians, comedians and cabaret, acrobats and adult circus performers, a Saturday beach party and a seafood festival with snacks straight off the back of the boat.
With plenty more events and activities to be released over the coming weeks, here’s a snapshot of what to expect.
FRIDAY 24th 11.30AM
The Longest Lunch
Kicking off with a gustatory bang, The Port Douglas Carnivale Longest Lunch is the lunch that stops a region. Set in the spectacular Rex Smeal Park overlooking the Coral Sea, pop on your trilby, come clink champagne glasses and indulge in four courses of a tropical bounty from the esteemed Ochre Restaurant & Catering. Coastal lunching under palm trees with cool breezes and live entertainment – this truly is #lifeinthetropics.
FRIDAY 24th 5PM
Carnivale ‘Silver & Sunshine’ Street Parade
From 5PM, the main drag of Macrossan Street gets all gussied up for the sights and sounds of live music, street performers and the official opening of the Carnivale weekend, the Port Douglas Carnivale Street Parade. This year’s theme, linking in to the 25th anniversary, is Silver and Sunshine, so pop on your very best disco ball outfit, dust off those silver glitter shoes and practice those street dancing moves. The parade, with creative floats from local businesses, kicks off at 6.30PM followed by a spectacular fireworks display at 8PM. The carnies come to town with a bonafide side show alley in Anzac Park, and the local bars and restaurants are bursting with celebratory carnival-y cheer.
SATURDAY 25th 10AM
Family Beach Day
Ever wanted to build a mermaid? Fancy yourself a champion sandcastle architect? Well, get yer spade and bucket and head down to the iconic Four Mile Beach for Family Beach Day. Sand sculpting competitions, a sky diving display, face painting, a sky bejewelled with hundreds of kites, Samba lessons in the sand – it’s a day not to miss..
SATURDAY 25th 7PM
Paint your fingernails black and start slurping that red wine - Eskimo Joe, the ARIA-award winning Aussie rock band, are headed back to good ol’ Port Diddy for Carnivale 2019! Known for multiple hit songs including From the Sea, Black Fingernails and Red Wine, and Foreign Land the alt rock band has amassed a giant fan base in their 21 years of touring.
Headlining Carnivale’s live music line up, the band will strap on their guitars and turn it up loud in Rex Smeal Park on Saturday night.
SUNDAY 26th May 12 noon
There’s a good reason why the #tropicalliving hashtag is peppered with prawn shots (we said ‘PRAWN’… *wink*).
It would simply be un-tropical to come to the tropics and not indulge in a li’l deliciousness from the sea. You’re going to want to wear stretchy pants as Port Douglas Carnivale welcomes back the Seafood Extravaganza – an afternoon on the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina boardwalk putting you well onto a see-food diet (like what we did there?). There’s also a monster line up of entertainment for kids and grown ups, and craft beers from Hemingways Brewery.
May 17th -26th
Like stumbling drunkenly into a 19th century bootleg salon, the Wonderland Spiegeltent transports you to an indulgent, delightfully wicked time. Step inside a world of decadence steeped in the darkest of smoky jazz, moody blues and good ol’ fashioned cabaret.
Wonderland Spiegeltent, the beautiful 1930s nostalgic wooden mirrored travelling European circus tent, is coming back to Port Douglas Carnivale. For 10 days over Carnivale 2019, step inside the bevelled doors of the Wonderland Spiegeltent as they bring their spectacular program of live entertainment including circus, cabaret, comedy, burlesque, music and family shows. Straight off the back of the Adelaide Fringe Festival, watch this space for details on shows.