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Minstrel Carnival

Every January the streets of Cape Town are filled with the festive sights and sounds of the city's biggest social event - The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival - a.k.a. the Coon Carnival.

The history of the festival dates back to the mid 1800's when American minstrels visited the Cape with their Al Jolson-style black-painted faces and banjos. The Coloured community of Cape Town who themselves had just recently been emancipated from slavery, mimicked these performers, but in their case, painted their faces white, and sang merry but sarcastic songs, often ridiculing their former masters.

Today, the historical roots of the Carnival are all but forgotten. The Minstrel Carnival is more a celebration of life and a reflection of the naturally gregarious nature of the Cape's Coloured community. Recently the City of Cape Town has renamed the festival from "Coon Carnival" to the "Minstrel Carnival" presumably because the term "coon" has a derogatory connotation in for some people.

"Every New Year, thousands of minstrels take to the streets in a dazzling display of colourful satin uniforms, shiny parasols, painted faces and foot-tapping banjo tunes that accompany the traditional folk songs, many of Cape Malay origin"

The Minstrel Parade itself consists of over 10,000 singers dancers and musicians dressed in the most garish costumes imaginable. The Parade usually begins in District Six and / or Green Point Stadium. Dozens of out-of-tune brass bands merrily blare a cacophony of festive tunes across the City Bowl, accompanied by hundreds of dancers and encouraged by nearly ten's of thousands of cheering spectators that line the streets.

Nearby Listings

Sleeps: 4

1604 Cartwright's Corner

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Cape Town CBD

0.6km South of center of Minstrel Carnival

1604 Cartwright's Corner apartment offers self catering accommodation in the Cape Town City Bowl. This luxury 16th floor, 2 bedroom (1 king-size bed each), 2 bathroom Manhattan style apartment in the city centre provides stunning, panoramic views of Table

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Viewpoint

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Cape Town City Bowl

0.8km West of center of Minstrel Carnival

Viewpoint apartment offers self catering accommodation in De Waterkant, Cape Town City Bowl. The first impression of this double volume 2 bedroom penthouse apartment is of opulence, combine this with a view of trendy De Waterkant's trade district and you

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Sleeps: 11 in 5 units/rooms
From R 680,00
Per unit, per night.

Six on Scott

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Gardens, Cape Town

1.5km South of center of Minstrel Carnival

Six on Scott provides bed and breakfast accommodation in Gardens, Cape Town City Bowl. Centrally located in the heart of cosmopolitan Gardens / Cape Town, you will find Six on Scott, a beautiful, heritage listed Victorian guesthouse. With lots of characte

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Silver Lattice Guest House

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Gardens, Cape Town

1.6km South of center of Minstrel Carnival

Silver Lattice Guest House offers self catering apartment accommodation in Gardens, Cape Town City Bowl. Silver Lattice is a true 'home from home' with charming self catering apartments, centrally situated in the historical heart of Cape Town, close to th

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15 on Upper Orange

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Oranjezicht

1.9km South of center of Minstrel Carnival

15 on Upper Orange provides self catering apartment accommodation in Gardens, in the Cape Town City Bowl. Offering an outdoor pool and views of the sea, the luxury self catering units of 15 Upper Orange Road in Gardens, Cape Town provide the perfect base

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Mount Sierra

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Gardens, Cape Town

2.1km South of center of Minstrel Carnival

Mount Sierra apartments offers self catering accommodation in Gardens, Cape Town City Bowl. Located in the heart of Cape Town it will delight you with its numerous award-winning restaurants, galleries, shops and tourist sites. While staying at Mount Sierr

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9 On Camp Apartments

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Gardens, Cape Town

2.1km South of center of Minstrel Carnival

The 9 On Camp Villas offer an elegantly furnished self-catering accommodation in the historic suburb of Gardens in the Cape Town City Bowl, nestled against the foothills of Table Mountain. Whether you are a tourist visiting Cape Town's top attractions or

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Sleeps: 18 in 5 units/rooms
From R 1 350,00
Per unit, per night.

5 Camp Street

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Gardens, Cape Town

2.1km South of center of Minstrel Carnival

5 Camp Street provides self catering accommodation in Gardens, Cape Town City Bowl. Ideally situated in the central, trendy and historic suburb of Gardens, on the lower slopes of Table Mountain. Within easy walking distance of Kloof Street, with its vibey

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Sleeps: 6
From R 2 250,00
Per unit, per night.

The Granger

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Green Point

2.4km North West of center of Minstrel Carnival

The Granger provides self catering accommodation in the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront, Cape Town City Bowl. Located in the private marina at Granger Bay, these luxury suites offer 2 double bedrooms all en-suite plus 3rd guest bathroom, Open plan loun

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Liberty Lodge

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Tamboerskloof

2.4km South West of center of Minstrel Carnival

Liberty Lodge provides guests with bed and breakfast accommodation in Tamboerskloof, Gardens, Cape Town City Bowl. Over the years, this classic Cape Town bed & breakfast has earned an enviable reputation for relaxed and genuine hospitality. Originally a V

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