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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Virgina Carib Fest Event Listing

Virgina Caribfest culimnates on July 14th and 15th, the following is a listing of events leading up to the big day:

FLAG FETE (VA CaribFest Jump Off with Iwer George)
Saturday June 16th 9PM
Charity Lodge #10
5341 E.Princess Anne Rd.,
Norfolk, VA 23502 (Online directions)
$20. in advance, more at the door.



DC Carnival Bus Ride
Saturday June 23th
To book your seat, $40. See flyer for contact info



Virginia CaribFest 2k7
J'ouvert Fete
Friday July 13th
Beach Lodge
3467 Azalea Garden Rd.,
Norfolk, VA 23513

Harbor Park - LIVE Entertainment
Saturday July 14th 12PM - 10PM
Harbor Park
150 Park Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23510
$10 Admission for adults, kids 6 and up $5, kids 5 and under FREE.

Parade of Bands
Saturday July 14th 12PM - 3PM
Town Point Park to Harbor Park
FREE

For more information visit the Virgina Carib Fest Website.

Scandalouz II Fete (Official After Party)
Saturday July 14th
Charity Lodge #10
5341 E.Princess Anne Rd.,
Norfolk, VA 23502

Cool Down Sunday
Sunday July 15th 12PM - 8PM
Harbor Park
150 Park Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23510
$10 Admission for adults, kids 6 and up $5, kids 5 and under FREE.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Caribana line up; more than just a number

Caribana has been one of those "migrant" Carnivals that I have been hearing about for several years, though I have yet to experience it myself. From what I gather it is the Canadian equivalent of Labor Day in New York. All the islands coming together to celebrate the fact that though they may be miles away from their homeland in a foreign country they still managed to hold on to some element of their culture, allowing revellers who may not have the inclination, finances or option to return "home" for Carnival the opportunity to still enjoy a semblance of such.

So it was with much interest that I read the following email I received which highlights the politics and semantics behind Caribana that many people are oblivious to. The author is from Toronto and though there is no solution offered to what is obviously a growing problem, much more so as more and more bands enter the competition, I am publishing the email in it's entirety to bring the issue to light and hopefully open the floor to discussions. At the very least we on the outside will have a greater understanding of the problems facing those masqueraders and band leaders for Caribana :

Now, this is me speaking strictly as a masquerader when I say that in order to have a really good time on the road you need to be in one of the first 3 or 4 bands. The route is relatively short, it takes place along the lakeshore and is basically a highway similar to the foreshore in Trinidad . The first half of the route is covered with 6 or 7 feet tall temporary fencing to keep non masqueraders to a minimum. This gives mas players an opportunity to play mas for a while without being totally overrun by stormers. It also gives onlookers that chance to see the beauty of the mas before there are 10 stormers for every costumed person.

About halfway down the route, there are the normal 3 feet high police barricades and the kids jump them and join the band. Kind of like back in the day when you cross the Savannah on Tuesday evening, security would chill out and anybody could take a jump. I have no issue with this. The problem is once the first big band hits the half way point, everyone jumps up with them until the end of the route, then they are inside the barricades, so they head back up the road to the beginning of the route to meet the next band. At this point, a few hours have gone by, but the last half of the bands still haven't entered onto the route yet, so they hit the road and are immediately met by huge crowds of stormers.

It's like “Where’s Waldo” to try and find a costumed masquerader


Most of these guys were born here and have no respect for the mas, also its not like in Trinidad if security asks you to leave the band and you refuse, they can put you out, and if you put up a fight you will have 5 or 6 ignorant muscle men beating the hell out of you, that doesn't fly here. Also, the last bands usually don't even get onto the road until 5 or 6pm. Imagine hanging around an assembly area for the whole day waiting for your turn to hit the road. Not to mention that Machel is playing in band #3 so all the teens will hop the fence from early. And as soon as Machel reach the end and the truck locks off the music they are heading back up the road to hit Carnival Nationz where the young chicks are. By the time Callaloo hits the road as number 7, there is very little order, and everyone has been drinking for 2 or 3 hours. At least they might still have some time. Everything after that is a write off.

This is what happens to your band if you get stuck in the last few positions of the parade, towards the end of the day …… notice its still very bright out


I feel really bad for the new bands who have to start at the back of the parade and work their way up over time (you think it is luck of the draw that Saldenah is always among the first few bands? I think not.) True, Carnival nations won band of the year their first year(even though they started last), but keep in mind that the judging happens in the staging area before they hit the road. Nationz had to literally push their way through the crowd of "onlookers" at the beginning of the parade. And were completely overrun the entire route.

The band leaders can't really fix the problem. They can't throw men back over the fence once they are in. And the government has put us on one long straight road, which mandates that someone is going to be first and someone will be last. Its not like they open up the entire city and each band can gather in a different location and everyone can start at once which would thin out the crowds; the youngsters will follow Machel, the IT girls will be in Nationz and the aging people who still feel they sexy will play with Saldenah and everyone will be in their own area.

Toronto isn't about to open the entire city to us, so that not going to happen. I don't know what is a good solution. In Brooklyn they don't have this issue. They have a small army of cops who provide crowd control. They are scattered every few hundred meters along the route and stormers are kept to a minimum. Toronto has neither the will nor the manpower to provide this. Also, we don't have such an ethnically diverse police force which I think helps in Brooklyn. This more of a rant on my part, as I don't have any solution really. This is a topic that every veteran Toronto masquerader is aware of, but an issue that first timers may not know about and that could give them a bad first impression of mas in Toronto.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Labor Day Costumes - sneak peek!

Among the stalwarts for Labor Day Carniva, 2007 will see a new band emerge; Red Warriors presents "Atlantis - The Sunken Kingdom".



Here is a sneak peek of the costumes:






For more information visit the website or email info@warriorscarnival.com

Monday, May 28, 2007

TRIBERS in DC This one is for You





Event InfoName: IGNITE... Your DC Carnival Experience
Tagline: The very first TRIBE event outside of Trinidad
Time and Place Time: Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 10:00pm
Location: Ocean Drive Night Club & Lounge (www.oceandriveclubandlounge.com)
11230 Grandview Ave
Silver Spring, MD

ignite@basementknokers.com

TRIBE and Basement Knok’ers™ Entertainment have come together to bring to you the Ultimate DC Carnival Thursday Experience... IGNITE!!!

DJ's - Radioactive Sound w/ Hypa Hoppa & DJ Dane, Merry Perry Entertainment and Sprang International

Ltd. $15 Ladies Adv. tkts (available from committee members only)
Adv tkts. $20 (available @ Damage Control Mas Camp and online @ www.carnivaltribe.com & www.basementknokers.com)

This event is promoted and supported by Fevah Entertainment, Do-It Entertainment and New Generation Entertainment

Big Top

After checking out Carnival Nationz launch pics on Toronto-lime.com I have to say I am not impressed by this year's offerings at all. The costumes that stood out to me as being the best of the lot are Lion Tamers, Cotton Candy and Aerialist:

Cotton Candy

Aerialist

Lion Tamers


I like Cotton Candy, in spite of it being pink, because you can actually get a "theme" from the puffy headpiece, and I think the beading on the bra and belt looks well done from the photos. Lion Tamers reminds me of a Harts costume, however I do like the costume a lot, I think the colours are different and the whole ensemble looks well though out and matched together. The most "unique" looking costume has to be Aerialist, I will even let the nod to Anemone and Jab Jab in the headpiece slide because I am liking the tutu a lot and the fact that the girls modelling the costume found the perfect shoes! The thick bands around the middle might give some trouble for some causing unflattering "rolls" but other than that I think it is a really cute costume that is stands out from the rest.

As for the rest of the costumes, personally I found the construction of some of the costumes looked very precarious, like Siberian Tiger, with the costumes looking as if they were finished in a hurry. I also cannot wrap my mind around Jester which looks as if it is a cross between TRIBE's Sunken Treasure and Pierrot Grenade, the belt being an exact replica of the latter costume. I will not even comment further on the lime green Sexy Clown that does not live up to it's moniker or the hideous headpiece for Acrobats. Gypsies has potential but the headpiece does not compliment the rest of the costume or fits the theme in my opinion. As for Fire and Snake Charmer I am not feeling those costumes at all, maybe it is just me but they look like costumes from Poison circa 2005.

Siberian Tiger



Jester


Acrobats


Sexy Clown


Gypsies


Fire


Snake Charmer


Honestly I have seen much better looking costumes from the bands that launched before; holding the title of Band of the Year for two consecutive years I had lots of expectations for Carnival Nationz, sorry to say they were not met. To check out the rest of the costumes visit Toronto-lime.com

PHOTOS:
www.toronto-lime.com

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Order of the bands announced for CARIBANA 2K7

Last night two time Caribana Band of the Year Champions Carnival Nationz held their band launching for the 2007 presentation "Big Top." Prior to last night's launch drawings for the line up of bands took place earlier in the day yesterday. The following is an update I received via email from Torontolime.com :

The drawing of parade positions by the sixteen CARIBANA bandleaders took place yesterday. Errol Achue's Mas Toronto will lead off the parade, followed by Saldenah Mas-K Club. Jamaal Magloire's band (now called Toronto Revellers) is third in the line-up and defending Band of the year champ Carnival Nationz is fourth. (For the full order of appearance, please see below).

Several bands have already launched their 2007 presentations and have begun accepting costume registrations; including Callaloo , Tribal Knights , Saldenah Mas-K Club and Toronto Revellers.

For a preview of the 2007 costumes, go to www.toronto-lime.com/pictures to view photos from the recent launches.


Upcoming CARIBANA band launches include Evolution Carnival (June 2 @ Fox & Fiddle), Toronto Caribbean Connection (June 2 @ Sugar Lounge), Burrokeete Canada (June 8 @ Valdrina's), Mas Toronto (June 9 @ Thornhill Community Centre), Bazodee Connection (June 16 @ Bazodee Mas Camp).

For a full listing of CARIBANA Mas Band information (incl. mas camp locations, pricing, contact info, websites, launch dates, etc) see www.toronto-lime.com/carnival/toronto_mascamps.htm

The order of appearance for the 40th annual CARIBANA street parade will be as follows:

# -- Band Name -- Bandleader -- 2007 Presentation
1 -- Mas Toronto -- Errol Achue -- "PETIT MONDE"
2 -- Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club -- Louis Saldenah -- "THE RAINFOREST"
3 -- Toronto Revellers -- Jamaal Magloire -- "VIVA LAS VEGAS"
4 -- Carnival Nationz -- Curtis Eustace -- "BIG TOP"
5 -- The Calabash Company -- Jessie Matthews -- "THRYTHM OF LIFE"
6 -- Arnold Hughes & Assoc. -- Arnold Hughes -- "A QUEST FOR GOLD"
7 -- Callaloo -- Marlon Singh -- "THE CONQUEST OF ALEXANDER"
8 -- Toronto Caribbean Connection -- Mervyn Skeete -- "FUSION"
9 -- Scarborough Caribbean Sports Club -- Alvin Adore -- "REFLECTIONS 2K7"
10 -- Bazodee Connection -- Cecil & Roz Roach -- "THE ENCHANTED GARDEN OF SOCALAND"
11 -- Pleasure Players -- Whitfield Balasco -- "AMAZONIA"
12 -- Evolution Carnival -- Andre & Ken Defreitas -- "DREAMSEEKERS"
13 -- Mas Players Int'l -- Bridget Renne / Troy Logan -- "DANCING SPIRIT OF RESILIENCE"
14 -- Nip Davis & Associates -- Selwyn "Nip" Davis -- "IN FLIGHT"
15 -- Borokeete Canada -- Frank Ramsaroop -- "ATLANTIS"
16 -- Tribal Knights -- Dexter Seusahai -- "TRIBAL KNIGHTS"


costumes pictured:
Tribal Kinghts (purple)
Toronto Revellers (pink)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Red International Costume Pics

Sneak peek of photos from Red International's St. Lucia Carnival 2007 presentation "Viva Las Vegas" can be seen at their official website. The photos were taken at their press launch.

Click on the photo to be taken to the gallery:


source: Red International.

Spice Mas 2007

I was perusing some brochures I picked up at TIC 2007 and found a nice package from the Grenada contingent who were at the convention advertising their island for both business investments and pleasure. Reading more of the material that I was provided with I was quite surprised at the claims made about Spice Mas (Grenada's Carnival) which takes place this year from August 13th to 14th. From the Spice Mas website:

Imagine yourself, drink in hand, moving to the pulsating sounds of the latest soca tunes, completely lost in the revelry and pageantry that is Carnival. Well, in this scenario you can imagine yourself in just about any Carnival celebration in the Caribbean.

Now imagine yourself in the same scenario, only this time the action is nonstop, the music just drives you crazy and the intensity of the party and party people is much, much more than you would have expected.

Every island can boast of its own Carnival characteristics, its distinctive brand of music and its unique portrayal and interpretation of Mas. However, in Grenada our Carnival celebrations stand out in a way that would astound and please even the most devoted and seasoned Carnival lover.

Our traditional mas offers some insight into Grenada of the past and the passion of the Vecour, Shortknee and Wild Indian players seem to intensify as the years go by. The phenomenon that is Jab Jab continues to baffle even Grenadians.The rest of the world was officially introduced to the Jab Jab and its accompanying music when Tallpree released his bigger than life hit "Ole Woman Alone". The distinctive sound of the conch shell resonates passionately through any Jab Jab themed song and any such composition is guaranteed to be a hit during Spicemas.

Grenada’s Soca Monarch competition is now the envy of the rest of the region. Sixteen of the hottest Artistes of the Carnival season, performing sixteen of the hottest soca tunes, accompanied by 10,000 screaming, rag and flag waving fans. No one leaves the until all the results are read out, because the winners are never obvious as all the Artistes enter the competition with a very good chance of walking away with the title.

J’Ouvert could be heralded as the biggest street party of its kind anywhere in the region. Attire is not a difficult issue; shorts, sneakers and a t-shirt will suffice. Be prepared; however, to have that look altered during the course of Carnival Monday morning. Body paint of every shade forms part of the morning’s festivity and whether you are part of a registered band or just an onlooker, a very generous masquerader will be more than happy to make you appearance blend in with the celebratory surroundings.
Now I was all prepared to do a nice little write up about Spice Mas 2007 until I saw the rather surprising claims which alludes to Spice Mas being the BEST Carnival in the region!! So I did some research to see just long has Grenada been having a Carnival, one where they can lay claim to having the BIGGEST j'ouvert and a Soca Monarch competition which is the envy of the rest of the nations.

Last year Grenada celebrated 25 years of their Carnival as we know it in August, so by that estimation official Carnival in Grenada has been around only since 1982, though I have read that it was celebrated on a much smaller scale since emancipation:

"Grenada's Carnival has been celebrated on the island since the Europeans occupied the island. Although smaller and lesser known than its Caribbean counterparts, carnival has the same magnificence that any of the best have to offer. It is believed that the Trinidad carnival was heavily influenced by Grenada due to the Catholics that resettled in Trinidad with their slaves, who celebrated as they did while in Grenada, and thus influencing the natives."
SOURCE
In 1982 I was already playing mas at a tender age in Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival which has been historically proven to have it's origins in the 19th Century with no factual evidence of Grenada having any influence! As a devoted and seasoned Carnival lover I would quicker attend Crop Over in Barbados and Vincy Mas than Grenda's Carnival which to me is a relative newcomer on the Carnival circuit.

That being said in spite of the inflated claims and self promotion the proof, as they say, is in the pudding and I surely do not have to use litotes and similes to convince anyone that the best Regional Carnival is held in Trinidad and Tobago.

For more information on Spice Mas 2007 you can visit the official website here. The following are a list of events on the upcoming Spice Mas calender:

Children's Carnival Frolic Sat. Aug 4th
St. John's Soca Monarch Sun. Aug 5th
St. Andrew's Calypso Monarch Thurs. Aug 9th
National Soca Monarch Finals Fri. Aug 10th
Panorama Sat. Aug 11th
Dimanche Gras Sun. Aug 12th
Jouvert/Pageant/ Mon.Night Mas Mon. Aug 13th
Parade of the Bands / Last Lap Tues. Aug 14th

Friday, May 25, 2007

Upcoming Events....

The feteing starts this Memorial Day weekend with Atlanta and Orlando Carnival and continues to next month as things heat up in D.C. and NY:











Water Lillies of the Congo

Here are some photos of special section "Water Lilies of the Congo" in Louis Saldenah's "The Rainforest" for Caribana 2007. These were taken at the launch of the band last Saturday:











The section leader is Bryant Sinanan and to register you can call or email him for more information:

Phone: (416 450-0503)
email: scratch2finish@rogers.com


More photos of the bandlaunching can be seen at FeteNet

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heineken Club Zero Contest Winners

Am I the only one who missed the clip that was supposed to be on You Tube for us to vote for the best Club Zero crew as per the rules of the competition:

Club Zero
Clubbing at sub-zero levels
Win a VIP night out with your Crew this Carnival
The Heineken Club Zero Competition is about to take you there
How to win?
Look for Heineken Club Zero (in front of the band)
Come in with your crew and “Do Wha yuh want” for 3 minutes
Your entry will be filmed and placed on www.youtube.com
So that on line voters can see who is the best TRIBE crew this year
Whoever wins gets a complete VIP night for the entire crew courtesy Heineken
I asked the question "Where's the Prize?" in April and though there seems to have been no transparency in judging there are winners! Check out the pics on triniscene of the lucky people enjoying a night out at Kam Wah and Club Zen.

Destination Crop Over Prices

So yesterday I posted the first photos of Baje's costumes available through Triniscene's Destination Crop Over package; here are the package prices:

Party Package:
Booze Criuse $317TT/$50.00US
Baje $100TT/$16.00US
Caution 10 2 10 $220TT/$35.00US
Wadada $300TT/$48.00US

Flights and Accomodation$4725.00TT/750US (per person Double Occupancy)


Costumes $1000TT/$159.00US

Isle De Caribe


Deep Blue

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Destination Crop Over Costumes!!!

Triniscene has the first photos of costumes from Baje International's 2007 Crop Over presentation "Lost Tribe":


The costumes are available through Triniscene's Destination Crop Over package which is now open for booking. These costumes cannot be booked anywhere but at Triniscene at the moment.

You can also reserve your party package, airfare and hotel which has now been upgraded from Time Out at the Gap to Sea Breeze Hotel (nice hotel on a nice beach!).

These costumes look cute, for some reason I am liking Isle de Caribe with the simple headpiece, the costume to me is just perfect for one day of revelry in Barbados . I cannot understand why a costume called Deep Blue looks purple in the photos, it is a tad too scanty with the too few beads and the headpiece looks a bit like Fan Coral from TRIBE's "What Lies Beneath". My only criticism is that I am not liking the design of the bras with the double straps. Other than that I cannot wait to see the rest of the costumes when Baje International launches their website on June 1st.

Wiki me!!!

I often check my referrals to see how visitors find this blog; most of you probably have it bookmarked or know the web adress so it shows as "unknown" on my sitemeter. Most times I do see referral links from other websites such as a search engine like google (it even shows what search criteria led you to this blog), email links and even links from other bloggers who have me as a link on their blog. Well imagine my surprise when I saw a link from wikipedia and followed to trail to discover that Trinidad Carnival Diary is listed as a link under the Wikipedia entry on Trinidad and Tobago Carnival.

Now Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that is written by volunteers and links can be added by anyone so I don't feel too special but I just think it is quite cool that someone thought to link my blog! Thanks who ever you are for the little "big up".

Ms Universe Costume Competition

Since Trinidad and Tobago has no delegate at the Ms Universe pageant this year (drama with the pageant organizers putting their foot down about lack of sponsorship by Government) I have to admit the whole build up to the pageant holds no interest to me whatsoever. This is a huge departure for me as I am an avid Ms Universe fan, always following the press leading up to the event on websites such as Global Beauties and in fact I went to the Ms Universe pageant in 1999 the year it was held in Trinidad.

Apart from evening gown one of the fun categories for me is National Costume, especially since when it came to our delegates of the past Harts provided the National Costume (recent times have seen this change) which were always elaborate Carnival costumes which to me is quite apt seeing as it is "National" costume and what could be more fitting than an ode to our national festival Carnival!

Remember this winning costume worn by Wendy Fitzwilliam in 1998 which was perfect for her in every way:



Or this one worn by Amanda Jardine:


Heidi Rostant wore this costume in Greece:


And Nicole Dyer's wining costume the year the pageant was held here:




So it was somewhat bittersweet to view photos from the costume competition of Ms Universe 2007 which was held yesterday as Trinidad and Tobago had no fabulous costume on show yet I still wanted to see the costumes! Of the photos that I did peruse some were nostalgic to what Trinidad and Tobago usually represents while others failed (what happened to Antigua and Barbuda?) Of all the costumes this one is my favourite as I am getting a Myths and Magic vibe from Ms Brazil's costume, check out them wings!:

Brazil


Panama


Paraguay


Antigua and Barbuda


Aruba


St. Lucia


Uruguay



For the full gallery of National Costume photos you can visit Global Beauties or the Ms Universe official website.

Good news though, we will be represented at the Ms World pageant by Valene Maharaj (last seen modelling a Fireman costume). Here is wishing her luck in that pageant, pity there will be no costume competition, however! Ah well, there is always 2008 to look forward to.






photo source:
Global Beauties
Trini Pulse
Harts Carnival
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