More from the Carnival Zone

Didn’t intend for this to be a Carnival mini-series but having ventured, as I do every year, to the opening parade, I’ll venture a few thoughts and observations.

It’s never a good idea to judge people by their Carnival behaviour but the ladies, and I use the term advisedly, I saw down on the ground and spread out with some random guy between their legs, really need to save something for last lap.

The Carnival Committee needs to find a way to tighten up the parade before Carnival Tuesday because while the revellers are having fun, dropping and rolling and kicking, the huge gaps between one section and the next make for bouts of boredom that put a damper on the Carnival energy.

As anticipated, the song I love to hate is burning up the streets and with women – and the little girls kicking een she back doh alongside them, it seems en route to road march victory, given the popularity (ie frequency) of play.

The Carnival Zone is always a good place for bumping into old friends, for a little hug up, a little wine up, and a little drink up. Was good to see chums I rarely get to see having a good (and sometimes a good ‘n buzzed time in the Zone). The Zone is such a happy place.

New York Fashion Week has nothing on the Carnival Zone for hype trends and tren’settahs with colourful Mohawks and ready-to-wear gear straight from Miami, or maybe Puerto Rico, or St John’s city (hope the home-grown boutiques and retailers are benefiting from the Carnival bump). One thing, we may not all be a size O but apparently in the Zone we can pretend we are.

Was great seeing Wanga, mas’ designer and builder extraordinaire snazzed out and dapper as the Carnival grand marshall. Show ‘em what you workin’ with, Wanga. As usual, looking forward to seeing Revellers on the Road.

Another observation, the iron ban’ min sweet bad as usual but the opening seemed light on pan except for Panache kicking it old school with vintage Short Shirt.

Speaking of which…where was Short Shirt? Did I miss something? It’s his 50th anniversary in the music, and he is our greatest calypso icon, it would have been nice to see him on the road some kind of how (not talking about the stage – I skipped the speeches and such but I’m pretty sure I heard Short Shirt giving the crowd a little something something on stage). Still, I think he should have been on the road, on some kind of float or something, but maybe he was and I missed it. In which case, apologies.

But did I also miss the float with the year’s Calypso Monarch hopefuls? Caught the Teen Splash and Junior Calypso folks, and the Queens were as always glitzy and glamorous, and perched on cars that stir envy. But unless I blinked and missed it, no calypsonian apart from the Solo sighting during the Medical Benefits jam passed – and what a jam it was.

The floats in general underwhelmed – and occasionally confused; a goal post and a statue of Jesus?

Was nice to see the folks from Little Canton having fun on their float by the way; after all, as we sing, Carnival is for all ah we. Happy 20th to them.

I may have had a Star Black sighting. Don’t know who Star Black is? Research your Carnival, Calypso and Short Shirt history; can’t want no more hint than that.

And as for this man … what’s his name again?… never mind, he should be dubbed Mr Carnival; he’s always waving his flag and taking the lead during the Carnival parade, in fact any parade these days.  Gotta love his spirit.

I have mixed feelings about American cartoon characters (and non Antiguan music) in a cultural event like Carnival, but sighting Phineas and Ferb “and tinkerbell!” just might have been the highlight of the whole shebang for my five-year-old nephew.

My highlight; every time music went by … Myst, Xtreme, MBS (the t-shirt mas ruled the opening parade didn’t it?), and especially the music and energy of Calvin S’ Beautiful People …when I jammed with them for a bit, I finally started to feel like I had well and truly entered the Carnival Zone. Looking forward to them on the road as well.

In fact, I’m looking forward to all the troupes. Whether I’m playing or not Carnival Tuesday is one of my absolute favourite days of the year; and it’s clear from the opening that in spite of the economic downturn and the rising cost of playing mas’, the people will be revelling.

 

 

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