The three-day Baltimore Washington One Carnival drew over 35,000 locals and visitors to the 42nd annual celebration at Druid Hill Park, where they relished in colorful costumes, music, Caribbean food and art.

The celebration traces its roots to Trinidad and Tobago, where French settlers brought the masquerade party tradition with them to the islands in the 18th century. The settlers also brought enslaved people with them, and the bright and colorful Carnival costumes date back to African tradition. The feathers were used on headdresses to symbolize perseverance and the journey into a spiritual rebirth.

“Today, Carnival is an act of celebration for freedom throughout the entire Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora across the world where people celebrate their culture and remember all the pain that their ancestors endured.”

Northeastern University, ECDA (Early Caribbean Digital Archive)

Mas players cheering on a friend at the judging point of the annual Baltimore Washington ONE Carnival in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, July 8, 2023.
Mas players cheer on a friend at the judging point of the annual Baltimore Washington One Carnival in Baltimore on Saturday. (Candace Dane Chambers/The Baltimore Banner)
Mas players celebrating during the annual Baltimore Washington ONE Carnival in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, July 8, 2023.
Mas players celebrating during the annual Baltimore Washington ONE Carnival in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, July 8, 2023. (Candace Dane/The Baltimore Banner)
Mas players during the annual Baltimore Washington ONE Carnival in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, July 8, 2023.
Mas players during the annual Baltimore Washington ONE Carnival in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, July 8, 2023. (Candace Dane Chambers/The Baltimore Banner)
Festival attendees at the Baltimore Washington ONE Carnival in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, July 8, 2023.
Mas players dance and show off their costumes during Saturday's parade. (Candace Dane Chambers/The Baltimore Banner)
Nous C’est Nous mas players celebrating during the annual Baltimore Washington ONE Carnival in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, July 8, 2023.
Nous C’est Nous mas players participate in the Carnival parade. (Candace Dane Chambers/The Baltimore Banner)
Mas player Sharon McDaniels, 51, takes part in the tradition. (Candace Dane/The Baltimore Banner)
Mas player, Aja Bobb, 22, during the annual Baltimore Washington ONE Carnival in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, July 8, 2023.
Mas player Aja Bobb, 22, during the annual Baltimore Washington One Carnival on Saturday. (Candace Dane Chambers/The Baltimore Banner)
Baltimore All-Stars Marching Unit Inc. leader marching during the annual Baltimore Washington ONE Carnival in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, July 8, 2023.
The Baltimore All-Stars Marching Unit entertains parade watchers. (Candace Dane Chambers/The Baltimore Banner)

Kaitlin Newman is a photojournalist specializing in multimedia coverage. Her main areas of focus are politics, conflict, feature and breaking news. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Professional Writing from Towson University, which is where she is also the professor of photojournalism.

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