Date: Thursday 23rd February 2006
Location: Ortinola Estate (Maracas), Trinidad
Promoter: 21 Promotions
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"We doh want no pong tong pung, pong tong pung in de parrrrty... all we want is to have some fun..." Run de Explainer ft. Maximus Dan track "All Inclusive."
It's Thursday afternoon in sweet TnT and just about everyone who plans on being here for Carnival has arrived, so it's local crew plus foreign crew. TJJ battles the traffic heading east to Maracas St. Joseph. With our credentials on the dash board, we decided it was time to hit the Priority Bus Route ... every minute counts when you talkin' All Inclusive fete! We find a park quite a ways from the venue, which turns out to be a blessing in disguise, and "A" is fuh action. Trini Jungle Juice sets foot in the dance about 4pm. A short walk up the driveway reveals a massive crown and a spectacular view. A sea of people populating the massive venue's rolling hills, punctuated with food tents and bars. The scene would fit right into any vacation magazine or Caribbean event magazine perfectly.
As the sun set on the venue, a theatrical performance by the Paramin Red Devils complete with fire breathers, staged atop one of the far hills added to the ambiance of the event. While the mood remained social, one could feel the excitement in the air, as if the massive crowd was just waiting for the sun to set to break away! It was the perfect time to sample the food and the various beverage stations around the venue, including a wine tent.
This event had the potential to be one of the premier all inclusives for Carnival. And at over $400TT a pop, and a world class venue it should have been. When we spoke with several partygoers, they shared with us that the event was good, but it could have been great. They further explained that it was the lack of attention to detail, and perhaps not catering for the number of people that attended that brought it down a few notches. Something as simple as having cocktails served on entry can set the mood for an entire all inclusive fete. When people pay that kind of money for an all inclusive, no one wants to line up for half an hour to get mediocre luke warm food either. No one wants to line up for half an hour only to find out the grill is empty. This is not to say that folks did not have a ball (photos don't lie), but if you went there accustomed to the highest of standards and looking for it, you would have been a little disappointed.
Partygoers were treated to some good music by Joy Juice, the Trini Technician and a rare appearance by Xtatik's own Shel Shok. There were no live bands, but the crowd got a surprise guest appearance by one of TnT's leading soca ladies, Destra! She pumped out a short and sweet performance, where the highlight was an impromptu couples wine-off. The winners had the crowd truly entertained with their wining antics; they clearly deserved the prize of two new cell phones all courtesy of Digicel.
The fete went on longer than expected, which was a score with the crowd. Not to mention the tradition of ending the fete chippin' out to the sweet sounds of a Tassa Band. The traffic situation was a nightmare coming and going, and if you were lucky enough not to have parked too close to the venue, then you got out of the valley in under an hour.
To reiterate, the event has the potential to be one of the best for Carnival with a little more attention to detail. Folks had a great time and Trini Jungle Juice will definitely be back. Big shout out to entire 21 Promotions committee for extending the usual love. We tellin' ya, Beach House is one of our favorite fetes... year-round!