It’s Curtains Down on de Bacchanal Season
The Carnival season was nothing short of fantastic and thrilling this year, with an exuberant parade of flair, extravaganza and of course vibrant colour. Monday and Tuesday’s celebrations were similar to those of former years, but this year’s festivities were iced with a dopple more of excitement and tons more activity. Shows and random events were staged island wide with two or three major party shindigs sometimes being held all in one night. One thing’s for certain, religious revelers were left nothing short of fully satisfied!
The party fever caught on right after the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival and continued right through till the climax of the two-day carnival parade of the bands. It has been an annual ritual for tourists worldwide to travel to the island in pursuit of perfect pleasure and some good ole’ fun in the sun and this year too, the ritual remained in effect. Though sporadic showers seemed to have threatened to sabotage the festivities, the dedicated and loyal revelers were undaunting and showed up in full force to represent for their respective bands, playing true Lucian mass on the road.
Following the usual carnival preparations over recent months with band and pan rehearsals, and of course the busy behind the scenes mass camp preparations, the much anticipated events finally arrived in the form of the National Carnival Queen Pageant, National Carnival Calypso Competition, King and Queen of the Bands Competitions, the Soca Monarch competition, Junior Carnival and the Panorama Steel Band Competition. The climaxes of the season were the traditional Jour Ouvert (J'Ouvert) jump up, Parade of the Bands and the Ol’ Mass Parade, with a humorous portrayal of creatively designed costumes. This year’s Parade of the Bands took place on July 18th and 19th and kicked off at the Choc Roundabout and from there revelers frolicked towards the Castries City center until evening time.
Following another successful Groovy and Power Soca Monarch competition, Jour Ouvert morning was the beginning of the real carnival fun, as islanders from far and wide assembled in the downtown Castries in the early morning of July 18th. Jour Ouvert is usually a carefree fun affair in which the city of Castries is transformed into the biggest street party, urged on by music and dancing being pumped into the morning from the big trucks.
This year the event was well attended with people from all walks of life patronizing with in their t-shirt band sections, some coming as they wished, while others wore custom-made creative costumes. The parade saw VIP treatment being made available to revellers with branded food and drink trucks to keep band members well fed and satisfied while on the road.
A welcomed touch was the cool-down station set up at the intersection between JJ’S Bar and Super J’s on the Castries waterfront, where overheated mass players would pause to be refreshed by the cool steam which constantly pumped, seemingly beckoning all who were nearing its proximity. Then there were the many sights and sounds to behold with bands representing from Martinique and Trinidad and Tobago adding exclusive flavour with their distinct portrayals. On looking crowds seemed to be both humoured and fascinated by the ol’ mass players who paraded and showcased their makeshift costumes symbolizing political and social issues, with a bit of wonderful satire.
While a wide array of costumes was on show, the debates continue about whether or not they were too revealing, with some onlookers suggesting that female revelers seemed to have borne it all in their thonged bottoms and barely-there costumed tops. Then again one would reason that it’s all in the spirit of Lucian Carnival, right?
On Carnival Tuesday, winding down the heated events, bands paraded through the streets of Castries and then on to Mindoo Phillip Park to be judged. The Carnival showdown climaxed with the Tribe of Twel Carrnival Band emerging as the Band of the Year titleholder. The grand series of festivities culminated with everyone enjoying their ‘last Lap’ through the city streets. Post Carnival events such as Mass Attack and boat rides such as Tide Up, marked the curtains coming down on Carnival season 2K16.
... According to him, Belrose full of balls! Scratch to win?... maybe next time.
If you weren't here you missed out.