MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -

Thousands of tourists are headed to South Florida this weekend for Miami Broward One Carnival.

The Caribbean festival is in its 26th year and the festivities have already started. There will be a Carnival village at Central Regional Park in Lauderhill with steel pan and costume competitions beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday. Admission there is free.

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Carnival ends on Sunday with a big parade of masqueraders at noon at Sun Life Stadium. Byron Lee and Machel Montano are headlining Sunday night's concert.

The festival brings visitors from the Caribbean and all over the U.S. This year, the event is extra special as Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica are celebrating 50 years of independence.

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Nicole DeNobriega, a senior at Piper High School, said she can't wait for Carnival every year to wear the brilliant costumes. She says it gives her a feeling like no other since her parents are from Trinidad and Tobago.

"It's my culture," said DeNobriega.