Lake Clifton Park, 2801 Harford Road, dccarnival.org
In July, Baltimore hosted its fifth combined Baltimore/Washington One Caribbean Carnival, snagging from D.C. one of the most vivacious cultural festivals in the region. It was Baltimore’s 35th festival, but its expansion since D.C.’s trouble-addled fest needed a new home has made it a true gem. Caribbean troupes from D.C. and Baltimore representing a variety of island nations gather in northeast Baltimore’s Clifton Park neighborhood all weekend. It’s not just the explosion of Caribbean culture that makes this festival our favorite, but also the overwhelmingly friendly vibe of the event. We love all of our home-grown festivals—from Artscape to Hampdenfest, and Book Fest to Flower Mart—but there’s something about taking on a problem-racked D.C. event, shining it up, and sharing it with Baltimore that makes the Caribbean Carnival particularly special.