The Los Angeles Carnival is the closing extravaganza of a 10-day Caricabela Caribbean Heritage celebration. Whether experienced as a parade, a Trini-style carnival, or a Caribbean festival, Caricabela Los Angeles Carnival is a nonstop street party, ablaze with color, music, movement and pageantry. Masqueraders, revelers and spectators of all ages and nationalities party to the rhythm of Soca, Calypso and Reggae.

The party parades down Manchester Avenue in Westchester, and once it arrives in Westchester Park, participants may enjoy the Taste of Carnival luncheon with different foods of the region. This living tradition moves on stage and gives voice to a heritage forged by a history of European influences blended with rich traditions of African, Asian and Indian peoples, creating a synthesis of talent, vibrancy and creativity.

“The diversity in languages, foods and customs are truly unparalleled,” said artistic director/designer Marie Kellier. “But make no mistake, within this diversity is a rhythm, a style, a sensibility that is unmistakably Caribbean. [You] become immersed in one of the most intoxicating cultures in the world.”

The Caribbean carnival isn’t only about the fun and games. The program also offers educational elements for the youngsters. The Los Angeles Carnival Youth on Parade program provides a sequence of workshops with California standards-based instruction in carnival arts and culture using hands-on activities in art, design, music, writing, dance and performance.

With Caribbean-style carnivals as their model, educators present standard-based instruction that introduces students to history, sociology, geography, reading, writing and mathematics as it relates to carnival arts around the world.

During the workshops they develop themes, create stories and design costumes that represent aspects of those themes. The program culminates with the students performing in the Los Angeles Carnival parade or other events, dancing to the music they have learned and wearing the costumes they have created.

“This program provides Los Angeles young people with a comprehensive educational arts experience where they work collaboratively across a wide spectrum of academic disciplines while being exposed to traditions that are different from their own,” said Kellier.

At the end of the program, students will have increased knowledge of world history and geography, a better understanding of mathematical concepts of scale and proportion, be familiar with carnival cultures around the world, be able to design and build a simple costume, and have a basic knowledge of career options available in the arts.

The carnival will be held on Oct. 16 and is an event for the entire family. It takes place on Manchester Avenue, between Sepulveda and Lincoln boulevards, and ends in a concert at Westchester Park. The entire program is free, although the parade participation fee is $20. Costumes also may be rented or purchased from one of the carnival bandleaders, or the carnival office. For more information on the event, contact Marikel (310) 410-0174 or www.losangelescarnival.com.