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A forever festival favourite, this magical community celebration is how we welcome the start of summer in Whakatū Nelson. 2021 is all about connection - the theme for this year’s parade!

Intricately decorated masks and colourful parades have been a part of festivals around the world for centuries, fuelled by local traditions and cultural celebrations. For Whakatū Nelson, this means bringing together our hapori (community) to celebrate the arts and ringing in the sunny season. The Mask Carnivale transforms the central city into a street party full of fun, music, colour, creativity, mask and costume, kicking off with the iconic mask parade.

Carnivale will be headlined by multi award- winning bilingual hip hop and R&B artist Rei and local punk-cover heroes Rocket Zombie, supported by local youth and community performances across two stages, as well as entertaining roving performers and installations. Guaranteed good mood stuff!

Everyone is invited to come together for this fantastic, free, family-friendly event to kick off the closing weekend of the 2021 Nelson Arts Festival. Wear your masks, don your costumes - this is not only for those in the parade!


New new parade route will be outlined here soon, parade enrolments here (open for individuals AND groups!), public parade choreography workshops (4 & 8 Sept) with Chloe Loftus info coming soon and more!


Join us at the East St Festival Hub from 9.30pm until late for the official Mask Carnivale Afterparty. Entrance with mask only!


Please note public spaces are alcohol free. There will be zero tolerance of alcohol and underage drinking.

Fri 29 Oct | 5.30pm - 10.00pm


4.5 hours


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