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Provincetown Plans 'Safe and Celebratory' Annual Carnival

Wednesday August 4, 2021
Originally published on August 3, 2021

One of Provincetown's most anticipated theme weeks of the season returns August 15-21 as the Provincetown Business Guild (PBG) announces the schedule for the 42nd annual Carnival.

According to a recent press release, this year's theme, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, will be "celebrated safely with outdoor entertainment, gallery strolls, costume parties, and more, all honoring Provincetown's creative legacy and history as a unique and welcoming destination as well as a haven for the LGBTQ+ community."

Carnival kicks off with the Official Carnival Flag raising ceremony outdoors at The Pilgrim Monument, the tallest all granite structure in the U.S. Later that evening, the opening day continues with the Opening Night Costume Party: Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are, featuring a costume contest, dazzling Provincetown icons, and cash prizes.

"We expect to see many people in Dorothy costumes and other 'Wizard Of Oz'-related attire serving 'Over the Rainbow' looks at the costume parties and throughout the week, especially on Express Yourself Day," said Fred Latasa-Nicks, president of the PBG board of directors.

The PBG launched Express Yourself Days this year, a new way to celebrate each summer's theme weeks. This pre-determined day encourages visitors to convey their individuality and dress up in colorful, creative ways. Carnival's Express Yourself Day is Thursday, August 19. Entertainment, gallery strolls, a drag dance party, and a special Carnival whale watch round out this year's Carnival schedule.

Despite a recent COVID cluster outbreak attributed to the Delta variant, Provincetown continues to have the highest vaccination rate in Massachusetts and, at 95%, has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. The town's test positivity rate (the number of tests that come back positive in relation to the total number of tests) continues to decline (now at less than 4%) and is expected to decline further over the next week.

Capacities for all events have been limited, outdoor space will be leveraged whenever possible, and all Carnival event venues will require proof of vaccination for entry. Provincetown has instituted an indoor mask mandate for all, regardless of vaccination status, while masks are not required outdoors. All businesses in Provincetown can elect to participate in a program from the Provincetown Health Department that certifies that all eligible staff is vaccinated and free COVID-19 testing and vaccines are available daily.

"The businesses of Provincetown have successfully navigated doing business during the pandemic, and we are fortunate to have beautiful, expansive outdoor space in which to host events," said Bob Sanborn, executive director of the PBG. "In addition to the town's indoor mask mandate, we have proactively implemented measures to ensure a safe Carnival experience, including limited capacities at all Carnival events and requiring proof of vaccination. We want visitors, residents, and everyone who works in Provincetown to feel comfortable celebrating this beloved annual event."

Provincetown Carnival 2021

Friday, August 13
Friday Evening Gallery Stroll
Opening and Closing times vary
Galleries located throughout town
For locations:

Sunday, August 15
Official Carnival Flag Raising Ceremony
10 am
Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum
1 High Pole Road
Free admission
Opening Party: You're Not in Kansas Anymore with DJ Edil Hernandez
Sunset Cruise
*Sold Out*

Opening Night Costume Party: Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are
9 pm-close
Paramount at Crown & Anchor
247 Commercial Street
$30 cover benefits the Provincetown Business Guild
Monday, August 16
Carnival kickoff at Shipwreck
8 pm
10 Carver Street
Admission free/donations benefit Provincetown Business Guild
Gesellschaft presents Tornado
Red Room at Velvet
258 Commercial
Come jam at a style, glam, and drag dance party. Join Janet Jorgulesco and the House of La Rue at GESELLSCHAFT
No cover/donations benefit Provincetown Business Guild

Tuesday, August 17
RAINBOW Dance Party
4-6 Masonic Place
$20 cover benefits Provincetown Business Guild & AIDS Support Group

Wednesday, August 18
Carnival Whale Watch
9:30 am
Dolphin Fleet
Macmillan Pier
Call 800-826-9300 in advance for $5 off and reference Carnival Whale Watch

Provincetown Follies at Boatslip
The Gayest Show & Party in town
9pm - 11:30pm
Boatslip Resort
161 Commercial Street
$20 cover benefits Provincetown Business Guild
Red Room presents Ruby Red Slippers
Red Room at Velvet
258 Commercial Street
$10 cover benefits Provincetown Business Guild

Thursday, August 19
Express Yourself Day
All day throughout Provincetown
Express Your Queer Self
Come as you are, or dress in a harness, speedo, singlet, kaftan, heels, or in accordance with this year's theme: Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Ty Sunderland Presents Love Prism
Carnival Dance Party
7 pm-Midnight
Dance with DJ Ty Sunderland, sponsored by PAX
Provincetown Town Hall
260 Commercial Street
Admission is free with a ticket, must RSVP in advance

Friday, August 20
Friday Evening Gallery Stroll
Opening and Closing times vary
Galleries located throughout town
For locations:

Official Closing Party: There's No Place Like Home
Crown & Anchor
247 Commercial Street
$30 cover (at the door) benefits Provincetown Business Guild

Carnival Headquarters
The Firehouse
256 Commercial Street
Open daily beginning August 15
Tickets, T-shirts, posters, beads, and other party supplies are available for purchase.

Individual Carnival event tickets range from $10 to $35 and are available in advance and at the door (based on availability). For the full Carnival schedule, the Official Carnival Guide, and to purchase tickets, visit