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Boston's Trinidad style Carnival: Founded in 1973 by Ken Bonaparte Mitchell 1942-2008

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The first person to answer these questions will win a copy of book shown on the right.

1 - What Steel band won first Panorama in 1963?

2 - Who is the first person credited with composing and recording for panorama?

Email Answers to: bostoncarnivalvillage@gmail.com

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Boston's Trinidad Style Carnival: A Road Map to its Future Face Mask VIII Jouvert Cruise Ticket Link

Boston’s Trinidad Style carnival is celebrated in August, the weekend before Labor Day, and starts on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Roxbury, MA and travels about 1.2 miles to Franklin Park in Dorchester, MA. Judging of the bands typically takes place in front of the Franklin Park Zoo; and the Village market place is located directly in front of the Zoo.

Boston Carnival was founded in 1973 by Mr. Ken Bonaparte Mitchell (Trinidadian) and Mr. Ivy Ponder (American)

The first parade left City Hall at 10:00 am and headed down Tremont Street to Park Street about one mile away .

August, 1973 Red Joe from “21 Steel band” participated in the first carnival.

40 American students from a modeling agency located on Boylston & Tremont Streets participated in the first band. It was called “African Fantasy”. Costumes were designed and assembled by Ken Bonaparte Mitchell.

When members of the Caribbean community saw that the carnival parade took place the following year, 1974, these people got involved, Carlton King - aka Trojan horse, Kevin Griffith – Silver stars Steel Orchestra and Frank Najim  one of Boston’s first DJ. In 1975, involvement grew and included individuals, such as Ansyl Niles (Trinidad) aka Mice and other Steel bands.

1976, some changes were made to the celebration officials moved the parade from City Hall Plaza to Franklin Park and changed the Association’s name from "Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Development Committee" to the "Caribbean American Carnival Day Association of Boston Inc" (CACAB). The renaming as Ken said, was done to include all people of the Caribbean. A new charter was also signed by Jerry Harewood (Barbados), Frank Thomas (St. Lucia) and Ken Bonaparte Mitchell (Trinidad / President). Fritz Felix (Haiti) who was also recruited in 1976, he was very instrumental in the plans for continuation of the Carnival.

1977 or 1978 Ken Bonaparte Mitchell ran for State Representative Mass General Court district 15 Dorchester and turned over the operational aspects of Carnival to both Edward Harry and Sebastian Joseph. #Bostoncarnivalvillage

Boston’s Trinidad Style carnival have been under the leadership of Shirley Shillingford (Jamaican) for over 20 years. Shirley involvement with the carnival began in 1991, she was invited to join the organization by the current leadership Sebastian Joseph  because of her involvement in local politics. She worked for the Kevin H. White 1929 - 1982 administration.

Source: Ken Bonaparte Mitchell founder Boston Carnival 1942 - 2008 and Michael C. Smith


Island of Origin


Ken Bonaparte Mitchell (1942 - 2008)


1973 - 1977 (5 years) Founder

Sebastian Joseph (1921 - 2010)


1978 - 1990 (13 years)

Shirley Shillingford


1991 - 1993 (3 years)

Clive Trail


1994 (1 year)

Shirley Shillingford


1995 - 2018 (23 years)

Source: Leonard Communication © 2000 Michael C. Smith - Updated 2/28/2017

History: Founder’s story & Time Line

Founder Boston Carnival  Ken Bonnaparte MitchellIvy Ponder Boston Carnival Founder