Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said a lot of organisation had gone into the event to make the three-day 25-year celebration truly family friendly with a program catering to both children and adults.
“The festival is a standout on the Port Douglas calendar, showcasing the vibrant and laid- back culture Douglas Shire is renowned for,” she added.
The whole family can be astounded and amazed at the international performers in Circus Wonderland – A Mermaid’s Tale.
The “fantastical” show is on throughout Carnivale and is part of the Wonderland Spiegeltent program just for kids.
There is also free entertainment in the Spiegeltent Gardens from 12pm to 4pm on Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25.
The crazy and boisterous Macrossan Street parade kicks off the big weekend on Friday, May 24 with an exuberant mix of floats, street performers, food stalls and live music.
“Come early with the kids, the sideshow alley at Market Park opens at 4.30pm and there’s a pre-party disco from 5pm to 6pm outside Rattle & Rum,” Mayor Leu said.
The Quicksilver Family Beach Day on Saturday is a great family day out on Four Mile Beach.
From 9am to 3pm the sand comes alive with beach hockey, a wildlife petting zoo, treasure hunts, tug of war, salsa dancing, drumming lessons, live music, and much more. At 3pm, more fun kicks off with the Surf Side Sech at the Port Douglas Surf Club, right on Four Mile Beach.
On the Sunday, May 26, the family will love the free Kids Concert at the Port Douglas Surf Club. The Bopstars Party Pair will have the room rocking from 9am to 11am.
Following this, the Seafood Extravaganza is another event for all the family. There’s lots of live entertainment, a petting farm, face painting and of course lots of wonderful food stalls. The kids will love the cantina at the marina which includes a donut stand, and there’s no entrance fee.
Another free event – which runs throughout Carnivale – is the Legacy 360 Great Barrier Reef. Explore one of the true wonders of the world from the amazing perspective of virtual reality. Head to the Sugar Wharf Friday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
To top it off, throughout Carnivale you can catch a giant multi-coloured inflatable installation called Microcosm. Inspired by the Great Barrier Reef, this oversized pop art pop-up will be at venues around Port Douglas.
Want to take the youngsters out at night? Go see Tropic Nights, a dazzling mix of light and colour projected on to the historic Sugar Wharf on Friday and Saturday night.
Port Douglas Carnivale runs from May 24 to May 26 and there are more than 40 events plus 38 live music shows. The Carnivale program, which includes a happening gig guide, and tickets are now available online at www.carnivale.com.au.