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Red Eye J'Ouvert Fete (St. Lucia)
Red Eye J'Ouvert Fete

Jul 17th, 2011
Just Tango Bashment Cruise (St. Lucia)
Just Tango Cruise

July 17th, 2011
King & Queen Show (St. Lucia)
King & Queen Show 2011

July 14th, 2011
Colour Me RED (St. Lucia)
Colour Me RED

July 13th, 2011

As a Lucian I don't mean to be biased, but I must say our carnival is the best "Small Island" carnival in the Caribbean region!

Though our small carnival cannot be compared to the "Greatest Show on Earth" - Trinidad Carnival, I have always had a special love for my home town bacchanal.

The carnival week began with Colour Me RED - The Return featuring Machel Montano HD, alongside many local acts. Without a doubt this event kicked off the season with a bang as the local artists performed many of their top hits including our very own Ricky T performing "Mash up" alongside Machel. The event, unlike previous years, was held at the Beausejour Cricket Stadium which was completely transformed to host this major production. Not only was this a new and improved venue, Machel Montano HD had returned to Saint Lucia Carnival after almost 5 years. Thank you Red Unlimited!

After a long night of "mash up" and "waving my flag high up in de sky", it was off to work on Thursday for many of us. Sigh... why didn't I take the day off??!! Well I guess this is how a true carnival operates... no sleep and endless bacchanal! smile

Next on the agenda was the King and Queen Show along with the Groovy Soca Finals. This was a combined event held at another great new venue in Castries called Pointe Seraphine. After arriving to the show quite late I was able to catch the King costumes, some of which were quite impressive. After the King costume presentations it was on to the Groovy Soca competition which was just a few hours behind schedule (didn't start until 11:30pm). We managed to see the first of 15 acts when the electricity went out. With another grueling day of work on my mind I decided to leave the competition and head home for an early nights rest. That was the end of my goal to see "Go Ko Ko" by Mongstar and "Indian Gal" by Ricky T (my two Groovy favorites) performed. I suggest next year they separate these two events, Groovy to be held on another night as it is too much for one show.

Friday night is the traditional Outrageous "Sexy in Black" event held at the Gaiety grounds. After a pre-drink up with some friends, we headed out to the event anxious to see Kes the Band, the main act of the night. The event seemed to be quite organized with ample security and officers directing traffic. Before the main act, many local performers took to the stage along with Iwer George and Denise Belfon. Now I know they were on the line up but their performance was so short that I hardly remember them being on stage! As Kes the Band came on stage, it seemed as if the crowd started with a little 'wotlessness' but their enthusiasm faded quickly. It was almost like they were tired and a little worn out (maybe from "trampling" with Machel 2 days ago?!). I, however, enjoyed the performance while wining on "Ah Ting" and repping where ah was from!

My next carnival event wasn't until Sunday which entailed a boat ride - Just Tango Bashment Cruise - on the Mango Tango with the TJJ team, Popots Barbie Juice and de French Man aka De Camel. This was a private invite only cruise with the boat packed to capacity. Though this was an intimate group we set sail ready to mash up the high seas. With Jello shots and beer funnels flowing, this boat ride was sure to send heads "mad and off"! Our first stop was the small town of Soufriere where we got a magnificent view of Saint Lucia's national land mark, The Pitons. After a short stop for gas, we headed for Anse Cochon meeting up with many other boats which had left the capital to get away from the carnival ruction. We brought the carnival ruction to them! Needless to say they were not impressed with our arrival and looked like they were going to "beg us not to mash up" their quiet lime. After soaking up in the sun, sand and sea for a few hours it was back to the boat for another "mad sick head no good" ride up the coast. It took some serious skillz to wine and rock with de boat but I'd say the alcohol had definitely given most of us some strong sea legs!

Sunday nights festivities started off with the RED Unlimited's Red Eye J'Ouvert Fete at Indies night club where many prepped themselves for the actual j'ouvert road march through the streets of downtown Castries.. Some of the j'ouvert bands included Mudsters, Bad Company and Blue Devils. Jouvert begins around 3am and ends around 9am.

Finally it was here, Carnival Monday and I must say we were "ready for de road again!" with de RED Army (RED Unlimited Carnival Band)! In St. Lucia we have two days of carnival where Monday begins around 10am and Tuesday begins at 12pm (the Tuesday is not a public holiday and is considered a half day for many businesses). Carnival Monday is also the day where masqueraders wear their full costumes as judging takes place throughout the day.

First order of business as we got on the road was drinks, but once again they were unavailable. Sigh, another disaster! After a bit of pleading, I finally convinced the bartender to sneak me off a bit of Vodka (not sure why some liquor was being withheld until certain parts of the jump up). I began to "clap my hands, shake my ting" and then was instructed to "sit dung" for the first 20 minute of the jump up as the DJ warmed up the crowd. (I was a bit worried that the DJ had no other song to play). The day continued quite well with music and drinks flowing as the excitement escalated in the streets with the "mash up" theme instigating people to do the wildest tings. These songs should have come with a disclaimer for side effects; "may cause people to wildly jump into bushes, run crazily up hills or uproot grass and launch into the air". The jump up lasted until 6pm where officers instructed all trucks to shut off the music (a new law set to deter bands from operating until late hours of the night which typically led to criminal activity and chaos).

Carnival Tuesday is known as the bacchanal day where people attend with whatever pieces are left of their costumes (and as I looked around there wasn't much left of anyone's costume). We began just after mid day and once again there was a problem with the drinks. The bar seemed to be stocked with very limited choices of alcohol and it was also quite difficult to even get a drink. Thankfully some of us had brought our own supply whilst I found a cooler with Rumsicles (Rum Punch icicles) which set my day off to a wonderful start! Once again we chipped down de road to our favorites such as "Indian Gal", "Glo Ko Ko" and "Out and Bad". We didn't "mash up" as much as Monday but still climbed up on a few walls, fences, and medians in true Lucian fashion.

Machel Montano HD, Patrice Roberts and Kes the Band truly kicked of the week unlike any other year I have experienced carnival in Saint Lucia. I recommend these artists (along with other top international acts) return each year. What's carnival without Machel Montano HD??!! In all, the carnival season was one to remember yet every time people are reminded of their behavior on the road the response seems to be the same; "How is me uh?"

We Love Carnival ... We Know Carnival ... WE ARE CARNIVAL!

Mistel 'Glo Ko Ko Juice'

Mistel 'Glo Ko Ko Juice'

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