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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
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