Best time to go to Edinburgh

Edinburgh Festival Carnival 2021

A free flamboyant music and dance event


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Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates.

The Edinburgh Festival Carnival occurs every year on the opening weekend of the Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival. The main attraction of the Edinburgh Carnival is a vibrant parade of about 800 of performers including African drummers, Balkan swirling pipes, Chinese dragons, stilt-walkers and street theatre. Dozens of thousands of spectators line the streets to see the procession and the afternoon performances.

The parade starts at 1:30 p.m. heading from The Mound to West Princes Street Gardens where it is followed by live music, drumming, dance, and kids' activities. All performances at Princes Street Gardens have free admission. Past line-ups included Bombrando (Portugal), Gwanaval (France), Enjoy Street Theatre (Italy), Edinburgh Chinese Art and Culture Committee, Artscape Theatre (South Africa), Edinburgh Samba School, Meninos do Morumbi (Brazil), Barefeet Acrobats (Zambia), and La Paranxza del Greco (Italy).

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