WXPN's Kanaval Ball will take place at Fillmore Philadelphia on January 9th, 2022. Photo: WXPN / Erica Goldring Photography
WXPN's Kanaval Ball will take place at Fillmore Philadelphia on March 20, 2022. Photo: WXPN / Erica Goldring Photography

‘Kanaval Ball’: Free tickets for the Haitian cultural and music celebration available now

The ‘Kanaval Ball’ celebration from WXPN is set to feature traditional food and drink, dancing, and music on March 20.


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Capturing the essence of Haitian Carnival, WXPN’s Kanaval Ball hopes to bring Haitian traditions to Philadelphia in March.

This will be Philadelphia’s first ever Kanaval Ball festival.

Featuring “all of the grandeur, pageantry, and fun of Haitian Carnival and New Orleans Mardi Gras,” Kanaval Ball will incorporate music and Haitian folkloric dances.

Performances will be provided by the Haitian New York-based folkloric dance company, Nadia Dieudonné & Feet of Rhythm.

Draped in festive Haitian-themed decor, and with traditional food and drink provided, the free-admission event is a great opportunity to celebrate Haitian culture without charge.

WXPN is calling for a “party vibe,” where costumes are encouraged but optional. Musical guests include performers from both Haiti and New Orleans.

Musical guests include a DJ set from Michael Brun, and performances from Win Butler, Boukman Eksperyans, Ram, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Aiming to “help illuminate the essential role Haiti has played in New Orleans’ culture for more than 200 years,” the celebration will conclude WXPN’s year-long exploration of Haiti’s musical and cultural influence.

WXPN’s year-long exploration took form as a documentary, Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans. The documentary is hosted by Leyla McCalla, and distributed by NPR.

While the event is free, attendees must RSVP for their tickets, with a maximum of two free tickets per registrant email address. 

The celebration will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 20 at the Fillmore Philadelphia, located at 29 E Allen St, Philadelphia, PA 19123.

As of Monday, Jan. 3, proof of vaccination may be required for Philadelphia patrons entering an establishment serving food and drink, and some other locations.

Guests are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or a record of full vaccination for the indoor Kanaval Ball. Masks must be worn unless eating or drinking.

Editor's note: Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, WXPN announced on Jan. 5, 2022 that the Kanaval Ball would be postponed until March 20, 2022. The article has been updated to reflect the change. 

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