Rotterdam Summer Carnaval Street ParadeRotterdam Summer Carnaval Street Parade

Every summer the streets of Rotterdam are privy to a spectacle which has no equal anywhere else in The Netherlands: the Rotterdam Summer carnival and more specifically, the street parade.


Summer Carnival in Rotterdam is part of the intangible cultural heritage of the Netherlands. It is of great importance to the cultural identity and social cohesion of the country.

The summer carnival on July 27th and 28th is the culmination of an entire year of preparations by various groups and organizations. Expect to see over 2,500 dancers and 30 floats from 22 different carnival groups. The summer carnival is part of Rotterdam Unlimited; a street festival celebrating cultural diversity and perhaps the largest of its kind in all of Europe. The street parade is said to attract around 900,000 visitors, depending on the weather.


Rotterdam summer carnival street parade

The Rotterdam summer carnival street parade first took place in 1984. Sure, there's carnival in other parts of the country. Such as the carnival celebrations in Brabant and Limburg. However, the Rotterdam summer carnival has a Caribbean flair. It includes many elements from Dutch-Caribbean carnival traditions and could best be compared to the Nottingham Carnival in Britain.

The street parade is preceded the evening before by the Battle of the Drums; a procession of brass bands march through the city before competing against one another on stage. This event, which in itself is a nice warm up for the street parade attracts about 50,000 people. 


Rotterdam summer carnival street parade route

Due to construction works along the traditional route through the Coolsingel, the route has changed. This year, the parade starts at Schiedamsedijk. The parade will pass through Witte de Withstraat, continue along the Museumpark and then make a right onto the Nieuwe Binnenweg. From then on, the parade will continue on the Mauritsweg and make a right turn in front of Centraal Station and onto Weena. At the Hofplein fountain, the parade will proceed onto the Coolsingel for just a few metres before making another right onto Kruiskade and then a left onto the Karel Doormanstraat. From Westblaak, the parade makes a final right onto the Schiedamsedijk, back where it started. 

Check out the route below: 

Rotterdam Summer Carnival street parade route 2018Rotterdam Summer Carnival street parade route 2018


Event details: Summer carnival street parade

Rotterdam summer carnival street parade 2018

Date: Saturday, 28th July 2018
Place: Rotterdam city centre
Time: 13:00 - 20:00
Entrance: 100% free

This year's event features a live performance by soca great Alison Hinds. You can find the official festival line-up on the Rotterdam Unlimited website.


Rotterdam Unlimited festival

An eclectic music scene, a bustling art community and the city's 178 different cultures are the not-so-secret recipe that makes Rotterdam Unlimited an unforgettable experience. Rotterdam Unlimited, the celebration of cultural diversity, starts July 24th and ends on July 28th. Expect to see various international and local artists such as Pink Oculus and Broederliefde perform at special events during this time.

Check out the Rotterdam Unlimited website for more information on special events, delicious food, live music concerts, as well as the popular Battle of the Drums.


Still not sure if you should attend? Have a look at the Rotterdam Unlimited 2017 after movie:


p.s. Is the information in this article incorrect or outdated? Please let us know.
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