Masked Parade & Carnivale

Masked Parade Carnivale 760x350

Photos: Tim Cuff

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Masked Parade & Carnivale

The iconic Nelson Masked Parade & Carnivale will once again wrap up the Nelson Arts Festival with a whirlwind of colour, mask and performance.

The parade theme this year is Weird & Wonderful. Come along and see how schools, community groups and individuals have responded to this. Or take part and think about what can be seen through a microscope, what can be imagined of the future or discovered about the past.

All are invited to investigate the awesome, the marvellous, the extraordinary, the many weirdly wonderful and wonderfully weird aspects of our world.

Entry is free and open to all, including community groups, businesses, families, individuals and, of course, school groups of all ages. As well as the usual prize categories: individual, school group and non-school group, we are introducing a new prize for pre-school groups. Plus there is the Kim Merry Supreme Award for the overall winner.

CARNIVALE: Following the parade, there will be music, street performances, a dedicated youth-friendly zone, food stalls and so much more! The Hardy Street Maimai of Bass, featuring DJ Grant Smithies, will be back with an eclectic mix of soul, funk, disco, African and Jamaican music, and anything else that takes his fancy on the night.

Everyone is invited to come together in this family-friendly celebration to close the 2018 Nelson Arts Festival.

Enrol for the Masked Parade & Carnivale

Parade assembly Area: Montgomery Square
Parade Route: exit Montgomery Square onto Bridge Street, Trafalgar Street, Hardy Street, Morrison Street, Selwyn Place, Church Street, across Hardy Street to Montgomery Square.

WET WEATHER DAY FOR PARADE ONLY: Sun 28 Oct, 5.30pm. Reports on Nelson Arts Festival Facebook page.

Musicians, Performers, Dancers: We are on the lookout for quality talent to perform in the Masked Parade and at the Carnivale afterwards. Register here if you want to be part of the fun.

2019 will be the 25th Nelson Arts Festival and Masked Parade! 
We'd love to hear suggestions for the parade theme to mark this birthday. Please send in your ideas by 9am Wednesday 24 October. The 2019 theme will be announced on the evening of this year's parade. 

Submit ideas for 2019 Masked Parade theme

Nelson Arts Festival Masked Parade Carnivale Map 2018

Map Download

Upper Trafalgar & Hardy Streets

Fri 26 Oct, 5.30pm (Parade), 6.30–10pm (Carnivale)


Proudly supported by:

Nelson Youth Council   


Creative NZ logo   


 TCCT Positive CMYK 


NZCT black logo name


See the map