Festivals, once local celebrations of culture and heritage, can become international events spreading to countries outside their region of origin. However, the processes by which such festivals have become international have largely been ignored in existing literature. The purpose of this paper is to present an illustration of the festival internationalization process based on a case study of Trinidad and Tobago (TT) style carnivals. Using a combination of archival and interview data, the paper first identifies the international origins and evolution of festival elements. It then examines the outward trajectory of development from an event on a small Caribbean island to a major feature of cities in North America and Europe. The findings are synthesized to create a framework describing festival internationalization that draws on research in cultural production systems. It proposes that the TT Carnival can be viewed as an experience production system that provides an infrastructure for the exploitation of indigenous intangible resources by entrepreneurs and cultural practitioners. This perspective suggests that policymakers and festival organizers expand their activities from managing individual celebrations to governance of shared resources. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.