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Climaxx - Journey of Bliss (Houston)

July 4th, 2009
Ancil and Annmarie's All Inclusive (Houston)
Ancil's All Inclusive

July 4th
, 2009
Caribfest J'Ouvert (Houston)
Caribfest J'Ouvert

July 3rd, 2009
Ultra Glo (Houston)
Ultra Glo

July 2nd
, 2009

TJJ's Party Guru's Guide to Houston Caribfest

8 years and going strong, it's actually our 1st trip to Houston Caribfest. But judging from all the stories we've heard about this carnival, it was indeed time for the Carnival Guru's to make a trip to the "Lone Star" state.


  • Duration: Seeing is defnitely believing, and like most of the establised Carnivals, the action in Houston starts as early as Tuesday, with all fetes ram out down until Sunday's Las Lap fete. Plus it's July 4th weekend, so you usually have that extra vacation day.
  • Accommodations: Everyone knows the joke that everything is Texas is BIG. And that is no joke! Make sure you're staying on the South-West side of Houston. If not, expect to drive 45 mins plus (longer if you take scenic routes) before you get to any events (and they are all held at different venues). The Hilton Houston Southwest on Southwest Freeway was our home for the long weekend.
  • Transportation: Ensure you have a car or some mechanism of transport or you're not going anywhere. PS. Ladies seem to love big trucks in Texas (just in case you're in the singles market)
  • Attire: Wear light/summer clothing! This is Houston we talking about .. and in July too! The moment you walk out of the airport you will feel the sizzle in the air. You will sweat in areas that you did not know can sweat. Short pants are good every day wear. If you like to wear flip flops (AKA slippers) then you will be right at home. Pack an All White & J'Ouvert outfit - Thursday night is "Ultra Glo" and Friday night is "J'Ouvert". A bathing suit can work for "J'Ouvert" - Yes, it just like a Wet Fete with water truck, some paint, some mud, some chocolate and yes, MORE WATER! We think Iwer must have been here some time ago! smile BTW ... Sun Glasses (AKA shades) are good to have. The place really bright, especially if you're coming from the North East or some winter wonderland.
  • Health: Walk with Sunblock! Yes, black people need sun block too!! Besides, we are talking about 100 degree Celsius or 40” F weather.
  • Music: Apparantely Soca Chutney is the new Reggae; remember that TJJ told you so. You play that in the car, in the party or on the road for Carnival and “d place goh mash up and buy back”!

Major Events:

Each city parties differently based on the culture of the people that make up the city and also the law enforcement. First, the good folks of Houston Caribfest love to party till 5am. I do not think we ever went to bed before 9am the next day. Insane!! Second, we never get so many police officers asking us to take pictures of them. They liming like nothing going on ... cool, cool, no sweat.

Wednesday: Camouflage Party. We weren't in town to attend this one, but promoter, Fire Kyle, did let us know that there's only one original Camouflage fete come Caribfest week in H-Town ... and it "SELL OFF"!

Thursday: Ultra Glo, All White Affair. This party is hot, literally HOT! There are 14 DJ’s on the cast and the air condition cannot keep up with the body heat generated so be prepared to wine and sweat. Fast drying clothes are a smart thing. If you're not tired (or ready to go home) at 5am, then Ancil and Annmarie have their Annual Breakfast Party going till. We left at about 8:30am and the party was still going. And better yet, it's FREE!

Friday: J'Ouvert. Don't expect jouvert in the traditional sense as there's quite a lot of water invloved. This is a fete that starts as early as 10pm, but does not pick up crazy vibes until around midnight when the Mud, Paint, Grease & Chocolate (they got a lil Chocolate band) getting applied to human bodies. It takes place in a huge outdoor/indoor warehouse ("The Truck Yard") and some of the jouvert revellers costumes make this look like a theme park. This year our friends decided to bring real pig heads to the party! The pigs got drinks and we watched them puke. Trust me, this is a crazy night as you will see in the TJJ TV video. For the very 1st time, Houston Caribfest took J'Ouvert to the streets as the sunlight broke on the smiling revellers chippin down d road.

Saturday: Soca Xtreme, Big Band show. This is the major international night as Caribfest features bands from several islands, and one or two major headliners. The culture of Houston is comprised of the most diverse section of islands that we have witnessed in the USA. It is truly a Caribbean festival (not a Trinibago or Jamaican thing). This year featured the 2009 record holder Fay-Ann Lyons. Partygoers were also treated to surprise performance by her hubby, Bunji, who snuck in the building to further stir things up. BTW ... there are a couple decent parties during the day to warm up your carnival spirits.

Sunday: The Parade of the Bands, Concert/Picnic in the Park. Today, you better wear your sun block; bring lots of water and wear fast drying clothes. You will get wet (and dry off pretty fast), you will wine, you will jump, you will have a ball once you on the road. It's a small road show (in Tom Bass Park) with only about 8-10 small bands comprising a couple scores for masqueraders. If you missed the road jump up, have no fear, you get another opportunity to see the bands parade across the stage as they are judged. Partons enjoy a wide selection of Caribbean cuisine & drinks (we had a bess Caribbean Fruit Punch) and an entertaining concert which ends at 10pm.

Houston Caribest, your days are bright and glorious, and as a friend of mine once told me, "You never miss the place, but you do miss the people!" Houston you will be missed, until the next time. Rea, Sharon, Nadine & Patrick ... thanks again for your hospitality.

Original Lime Flavor

Son of the Caribbean Soil,
Original Lime Flavor

Disclaimer: Professional and experienced TJJ Fet-a-lot-athon® Party Gurus have rigorously tested these Carnival grounds and are providing said recommendations based on the fundamentals that the audience is a healthy rum drinking islander. If while performing any of these actions you begin to feel any dizziness, fatigue or pain please stop and consult your physician immediately.

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