Nelson arts Festival logo

Connection: Join the 2021 Mask Carnivale

Nelson CBD | Fri 29 Oct | 5.30 - 10.00 pm

Mask Parade from 5.30 pm, followed by Carnivale Street Party.

Afterparty at East St Festival Hub from 9.30 pm - wear your mask!

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!

Mask Carnivale

New Parade Route

We’ve changed our route a bit to allow a shorter journey for those in the Parade, and to fill our central streets with the joyful celebration of local creativity - we'll share a map with you soon!

The parade assembles in Montgomery Square and exits left onto Hardy Street, turns right down Morrison Street, along Selwyn Place, finishing down Church Street.

2021 Mask Parade Enrolment Form

Your Idea
Describe how your entry will relate to the theme of "Connections"
Mask Exhibition(Required)
Would you be happy for your mask(s) to be included in a future exhibition?
Data Permission(Required)
I'm happy for my submitted data to be collected and stored so that Nelson Arts Festival can respond to my enquiry. See our Privacy Policy
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Looking for inspiration

For inspiration, download Masks on Parade, a mask-making and percussion booklet with step-by-step instructions on how to make different types of masks, along with ideas on incorporating sound and movement into your parade experience.

Download the Masks on Parade PDF

Calling Musicians, Performers, Dancers

Calling all musicians, performers, dancers to be part of the 2021 Mask Carnivale.

We are on the lookout for quality talent to perform in the Mask Parade and at the Carnivale afterwards.

Mask Carnivale -
Food Stalls

We are looking for all types of quality food to add to the wonderful Carnivale atmosphere and to complement Nelson's restaurant scene.

Please register your interest here and we will be in touch.

Sign-up to get the latest festival news

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.