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Bonaire’s Carnival (Karnaval) 2024 is a Wrap!

by | Feb 14, 2024 | Culture, Events, Local News, Music & Performances, People

Angelo from the Precious Diamonds - Photo by Ellen Muller

Bonaire’s Carnival 2024 ended with a bang!

This past weekend, locals and visitors enjoyed three Adult Grand Parades during Carnival 2024. The final parade of Carnival (Karnaval in Papiamentu) took place last night with the burning of King Momo.

Saturday’s Parade in Rincon

If you were present at both Saturday and Sunday parades, you surely observed a contrast in the costumes. Though stunning, the Rincon parade on Saturday featured groups wearing either a part of their attire or an entirely different outfit. Many groups opt to tone down their costumes, perhaps offering a teaser for the main event the next day in Kralendijk!

The Precious Diamonds during the Rincon 2024 parade - photo by Big Papa
Dancing in the streets of Rincon - photo by Big Papa

Sunday’s Parade in Kralendijk

The Sunday parade in Kralendijk typically spans about five hours during the heat of the day. If you’re familiar with Carnival parades, you’ll understand that they move at a very leisurely pace, completing a single loop of the route over the course of these five hours. This deliberate pace ensures that groups don’t have to cover extensive distances and allows for moments of photography, dancing, and the replenishing of drinks.

True to tradition, the costumes for this year lived up to expectations—vibrant, colorful, and flowing. Adorned with gems, glitter, sequins, feathers, and elements related to each group’s theme, the costumes were a visual delight for onlookers. The groups’ joyful expressions were enhanced by glitter and sparkling stones, particularly around the eyes. One group in particular had the grandest and biggest costume of all, The Precious Diamonds, celebrating their 10-year anniversary of participating in the parade!

Angelo from The Precious Diamonds dazzling the crowd at Karnaval 2024 - Photo by Sietske Scheulen of Ocean Photo Bonaire

The Precious Diamonds 10th anniversary costumes!

What a sight to see! Each member’s attire boasted its own distinct flair, captivating the audience as they twirled and danced to the music while entertaining the crowds.

The Precious Diamonds costumes were by far the largest of all! - Photo by Sietske Scheulen of Ocean Photo Bonaire
The Precious Diamonds showing off their stunning outfits
Laica in her costume - photo by Ellen Muller
Striking a pose during Bonaire's Carnival 2024 - Photo by Ellen Muller
All smiles during Carnival 2024 - Photo by Ellen Muller
Photo by Sietske Scheulen of Ocean Photo Bonaire
All in blue during the parade - photo by Ellen Muller
Photo by Sietske Scheulen with Ocean Photo Bonaire

Additional photos of Sunday’s parade

If you missed the parade, here are a few other costumes from various groups below from Sunday’s Adult Grand Parade on Sunday.

The crowds in Kralendijk go wild as each group dances by - Lively atmosphere during Karnaval 2024 - Photo by Sietske Scheulen of Ocean Photo Bonaire
Lively atmosphere at Karnaval 2024 - Posing during Karnaval 2024 - Photo by Sietske Scheulen of Ocean Photo Bonaire
Photo by Ellen Muller
Adult Grand Parade 2024 - Photo by Sietske Scheulen of Ocean Photo Bonaire
Kralendijk's Adult Grand Parade - Angelo from The Precious Diamonds dazzling the crowd at Karnaval 2024 - Photo by Sietske Scheulen of Ocean Photo Bonaire
Posing during Karnaval 2024 - Photo by Sietske Scheulen of Ocean Photo Bonaire

The final night of Carnival 2024.

The final night is a replay of the Grand Carnival parade that ends at midnight with the burning of King Momo at the Stadium, which took place last night. Music resonating from the massive speakers filled the atmosphere with an infectious party spirit. The costumes were equally remarkable as the Kralendijk day parade, but this time, they featured lights to truly accentuate the outfits!

My overall experience of Carnival 2024

If you happened to read my earlier Carnival article that hinted at keeping a lookout for a familiar face…did you see me? This marked my first year of participating in Carnival, and it exceeded all my expectations. From the camaraderie with fellow group members to the unquestionably breathtaking costumes designed by our talented seamstress and group members, and the sheer joy of dancing through the streets of Bonaire and striking poses for photos – it was absolutely incredible!

Photo of Tanya Deen during Carnival 2024

Thank you to my professional photographer friends!

Thank you to all of my talented photographer friends who stepped in and captured the parade moments for me as I was happily occupied dancing through the streets of Bonaire during all three of the Adult Grand Parades!

A special thanks to Sietske Scheulen of Ocean Photo Photography and Ellen Muller for providing many photos during Kralendijk’s Adult Grand Parade, Big Papa for the Rincon Parade photos, and other friends on the island for additional photos.

 

(Source: Bonaire Insider, Photos by Sietske Scheulen of Ocean Photo Photography, Ellen Muller, Big Papa, as well as other friends)

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Tanya Deen has been living in Bonaire since December 2016. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Instructor and enjoys underwater and bird photography. Tanya is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.
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