Carnival in Trinidad is known as the “Greatest show on earth”. First off, it’s not just a day of parading around in eccentric costumes, it’s two full days of sunrise to sundown music, chipping, drinking, whining, dancing, laughing, eating and celebrating through the streets in Port of Spain. There’s not a pre-party, there are hundreds to choose from! From local fetes to raging events, concerts, fashion shows and pretty much any other reason to gather together. I tell you Trinidadians have the stamina beyond that of what I’ve seen. An Irishman might put you under drink for drink, but if you want to keep up around here, you have to match day to day, night tonight, back to back!
Although it seems to be an unspoken sin to fly all the way over here (with the other 240,000 international guests) and not participate, it’s what I’ve chosen to do. I came to Trinidad with the drive to do hair for the wonderful ladies of Carnival during these exciting days. With that said, I didn’t really partake in the extravaganza that is Carnival, so for this post I’m only going to highlight a few of the events leading up to the big days.
Lets start with the one and only that I attended (thank you Joe and Pumpkin!), called Revel. This is categorized as a cooler party meaning you bring your own ice-chest with drinks and enjoy the overall chilled energy.
The venue is just outside the Queens Park Oval Cricket stadium in Port of Spain. A stage is set with two main areas, general admission and VIP.
Before the crowd gathered I took a walk around to show you the layout. Here’s looking at the field then I did a 180 turn and stood with my back to the stadium looking at the entrance to the VIP section.
Just beyond that gate is general admission where they sell food, drinks and give away things such as temporary tattoos, flyers and merchandise. If you’re anything of a soca fan, you’ll recognize the name below… Machel Montano. Yep, he was the performer on this evening!
Back to the VIP side is where you’ll find, complementary food to nibble on and a clear view of the crowd amped for the main event… As well as the amazing people I came to join!
Show time! Heart pounding, hip thrusting, flag waving, energy elevating and nothing shy of purely entertaining (if you like the music or not) type of performance.
Care to hear a glimpse of the sounds that caused this entire audience to jump, wave their flags and shout along? I only had a point a shoot camera, but here’s a one minute video of Machel performing one of his hits, Like uh Boss! For more quality visuals and different songs, I suggest just googling his name.
Fun Fact: Machel Monatano was my first concert in Barbados, check out that post called Dining and dancing the Bajan way.
Moving on to the next event. Keep in mind Revel (from above) went till dawn and the one you’re about to see was prepped at Dawn. This country doesn’t sleep!
Down de islands, DDI, best fete, the one and only pre-Carnival party… Call it what you want but this is known as the must-do , don’t miss events of the week. I didn’t attend (you’ll see why in the next post) but I have been down de islands on a much smaller scale seen in Through the sea and down de islands.
Short and sweet- it’s a huge day full of music, boats, bikinis, drinks and energetic people that don’t appear as if they were out all night just hours ago. I chose my favorite picture to show you… Just a glimpse.
So get this, Revel was Friday, DDI was Saturday and now we’re on to Sunday. For all my American football fans, imagine doing all of the above, then going to a Super Bowl Party (which they did) and then continuing on right through Carnival (which they did!) I tell you, their party drive is impressive. And yes, although some pick and choose, many people do all the fetes!
Next up is J’ouvert. Now I know you’ve seen this, again just on a smaller scale. It’s a part of Cropover in Barbados as well. Sneak a peak at those memorable days by clicking the link to dirty clean fun!
This is another evening I didn’t attend (I know… I know!) but here’s what I did gather from the happy crew I was staying with.
A few photos I snagged before the bus took the group into the streets of mud and paint. What a lovely clean bunch…
And then… The night passed and the sun came up.
So they’ve had weeks of parties leading up to a cooler fete, all day on boats in the sun, a Super Bowl party to all night playing in mud and paint and now? Now they have just a couple hours (if that) to wash off, dress up and get to the beginning of the 2 day Carnival parades. Can you beleive the lovely people from the night above transformed into the stunning stars below? Them and thousands of others traded in mud soaked skin for bedazzled bikinis and a fresh drink. Coming up… Carnival Monday!