The highlight of my February activity was CARNIVAL!
There are not many words that could sufficiently describe my 2012 Carnival experience!...and to think I did not partake to the full extent of what being in Trinidad for Carnival could bring!
PANORAMA – (a competition held for Steel pan bands)
This was the first year I actually went into the Queen’s Park Savannah and watched the bands playing from the stands. Usually I listen to the bands as they practice in the streets or on what we call the “stretch” leading to the stage! All three venues definitely give you a different experience. And this year I experienced all! Oh and what an experience! “See video here”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btJ0CmIkIiA
In the streets….the vibes was mellow and everyone was milling around sipping on coconuts and beers and just enjoying the cold air and the nice music!
On the stretch – the pace was raised as the bands have their last practice before they go on the stage! Let me tell you….I stood in the middle of one band as they played…..OMG! I took pics and was besides myself! The energy was amazing! Seeing the players beat those pans upsided down and sweat and smiled and played their hearts out whilst keeping a rhythm was out of this world!
Semis on the Greens – Oh the vibes couldn’t done! Just booths of djs, food and drinks! One big lime/fete! People in the Greens came for the lime not for the pan…but pan was in the mix. Soca artists made their guests appearances and people were in a frenzy. I bounce up so many ole friends! Not missing it again next year!
Pan semis & finals in the North Stand – This is where the “real” pan lovers go! These people come to hear the pan. They usually have their favourites and come to back a side! Listen…open air….more food than on the greens….great company …. Great convos and good vibes in the North Stand. People were dancing in between sessions and everyone was simply feeding off of the energies of other. Smiles were in abundance!
Panorama – never missing it again as long as I am in Trinidad!
Well I left when the actual Jouvert started BUT….I never knew there was such excitement BEFORE J’ouvert! Listen, the words can’t describe the scenes of that night/early morning. Hundreds of people were on Aripeta Avenue that night! The streets were flooded with people dancing and liming and having a good time! Drivers had to move slowly through the crowd as people whinned in front of their vehicles, put their hands in the vehicles and blowed horns, some were jumping up on trucks! There were fire-blowers! There were buckets of drinks! There were tourists! There was food! And there was non-stop, uninterrupted music!
PARADE OF THE BANDS
I volunteered to be a Tour Guide with our local Tourism Company during the Carnival weekend. It was a marvellous experience! The last 5 years I have been going to camp for Carnival…being up close and in the middle of the bachannal was unbelievable! From Kiddies Carnival to Tuesday parade of the bands…the spectacle was amazing! Being a part of this made me want to press pause…take photos….write about what I was seeing…and/or….just play mas! I never thought I’d feel that urge (so strongly) to play mas.
I met alot of “famous” people! Took a pic with Brian Lara. Met lots of past beauty queens and soca artists. Got to take some great pics as well.
I think the words of a tourist who just started talking to me on the Avenue would describe the heart-filled, love I had for my Carnival experience. He said: “Oh my gosh! I love your country! I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life! I can’t understand it but I LOOOVVVEE IT!” ... there’s no other way to describe it! 19 months ago