Join the Fun at the 2023 Provincetown Carnival and Jazz Festival

provincetown carnival

toy chest carnival 2023 cover 1x1 1 1030x1030 1There’s lots going on this time of year on the Cape! Let’s dive into two of August’s most memorable events in P’town.  The Provincetown Carnival will take place August 12th to 19th and the Provincetown Jazz Fest runs through August 8th.

Provincetown Carnival Events

provincetown carnivalThe Provincetown Carnival, now in its 45th year celebrates all thing LGBTQ+, with fun and festive activities throughout the event. The Carnival kicks off on the right foot on Sunday morning at 8:30am with a new event from last year, “Feet over Front Street”, a 5k walk or run, heading down Commercial Street (originally known as Front Street). Participants are encouraged to come “bold , proud and ready to show off who you are!”.

Sunday afternoon the legendary cruise starting from MacMillan Wharf is open to all Carnival goers, although advance tickets are recommended.  The ocean cruise by Baystate Cruises features a dance party with music by DJ Andrew Haig and black trans advocate DJ Lina Bradford.

The Disco Duck dance party will feature three hours of ocean-cruising and spinning by DJs, a full cash bar with specialty cocktails, and concessions for purchase. Boarding begins at 3:15pm, rain or shine,

As the Carnival goers recover from discoing at sea during the ocean cruise, they can head over to the Crown & Anchor for the Toy Chest Carnival Opening Party at 10PM. The best costume will win a prize but more importantly also the coveted spot aboard one of the PBG’s floats in Thursday’s Carnival Parade.

paradeThe Provincetown Carnival continues for a week of gallery strolls, pool parties, bingo, cabaret shows, costume parties, and celebration!  On Thursday August 17th the epic parade starts off at the Harbor Hotel at 3 pm and making it’s way down Commercial Street. This year’s theme is “Land of Toys”.

The Provincetown Carnival is put on by the Provincetown Business Guild, an organization founded in 1978 to promote LGBTQ business, culture, and tourism in Provincetown. P’Town has long been a welcoming destination for LGBTQ+ travelers with the Provincetown Business Guild commenting, “Situated at the tip of beautiful Cape Cod, 60 miles out to sea, this is a place where people come together to celebrate diversity, individuality, arts, and culture. Every corner you turn offers amazing views, sights, and sounds with live music, entertainment, drag shows, tea dances, festivals, museums, whale watches, shopping, and eye candy all around.”

The first Provincetown Carnival was put on by the Business Guild in 1978, kicking off the organization’s vision of turning P’Town into a world-class destination for gay and lesbian tourists, and a place where gay and lesbian owned businesses could thrive. They have been instrumental in shaping today’s P’Town. The Provincetown Carnival has grown into a lively and beloved holiday on the Outer Cape, welcoming 100,000 visitors annually.

Provincetown Jazz Festival

brown hat over saxophone image provincetown carnival jazz festival cape cod

Also in August, the Provincetown Jazz Festival will offer two evenings of jazz! The annual event has been enjoyed on the Cape since 2005. This year’s event will feature a show on August 7th at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod and an August 8th show at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

The 7:30pm August 7th show at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod will be a tribute to Lou Colombo by his daughter Lori Colombo. Lori, now a resident of Cape Cod, will be accompanied by the Cape Cod Jazz Quartet.

On Tuesday August 8th at 6pm jazz artists Zahili Gonzalez Zamora and Steve Hambleton will both give their debut performances at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM).

The Jazz Festival is a non-profit and donates a portion of their proceeds to worthy causes across the Cape, including a program to incorporate Jazz into Cape schools.

Whether you are heading to the Provincetown Carnival or the Jazz Festival, P’town has plenty of events and sites to keep everyone inspired and entertained! Check here for other August Events on Cape Cod.




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