As part of its Global Connections event series, Navy Pier is hosting a free Carnivale celebration from 1-5 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Aon Grand Ballroom.
“It is a celebration of the Carnivale event across multiple cultures, so it’s going to include South America, North America, Italy, Puerto Rico,” said Arnaldo Rivera, Navy Pier’s chief administrative and equity officer. “It’ll be a melding of multiple cultures, so there will be a lot of similarities and a lot of unique differences, as well.”
The afternoon will feature food, arts and crafts and musical and dance performances from Chicago Samba, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Somos Colombia, DJ AFROQUBANO and Four Star Brass Band.
“The spirit of the celebration is for people to set aside their individual identities and come in a spirit of social unity,” Rivera said. “We also work with local cultural leaders from the community so it’s very authentic, and we want people to walk away with a fun experience but really feel as though they’re being exposed to different cultures across the globe.”
And for those experiencing the cabin fever that can inflict Chicagoans at this time of year, Rivera said it’s a great opportunity to get out and about.
“What I love about the timing of this event for us is in almost every other place across the globe where this event is celebrated, it’s warm — New Orleans, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Italy,” Rivera said. “It’s nice to be able to infuse a kind of a warm spirit of the celebration here at a time where the weather is not as warm. It brings a nice feel to the Pier, feel to the city as a whole during some of our winter months.”
The Carnivale event is the penultimate in the Global Connections series. The final celebration is an indoor-outdoor Holi party on March 4.