TJJ's Party Guru's Guide to Vincy Mas
St. Vincent & The Grenadines, commonly referred to as SVG, is marketed as one destination, 32 gorgeous Caribbean islands! It's one of those tourist destinations that people travel halfway around the world to enjoy the white (& black) sand beaches, picturesque waterfalls, go hiking and dive or snorkel the beautiful reefs. SVG is also the filming location (Wallilabou Bay) for the multi-billion dollar Walt Disney franchise series of films 'Pirates of the Caribbean'.
Now while we weren't in SVG to explore cursed Aztec gold, undead pirates or the legendary Captain Jack Sparrow expliots, we were in fact there to conquer yet another 'Carnival of the Caribbean' - Vincy Mas! The question of "Which Carnival ranks #1? Vincy, Lucia or Grenada?" was left unanswered following Grenada Spicemas 2010. So, let's dive in...
Like St. Lucia Carnival, Vincy Mas has carnival high's and low's as the main week progresses. We missed Wet Fete (June 25th) and a few Fab Fraidayz signature events, but with our hectic world carnival schedule, we can't win them all... and as the song goes, "A Wet Fete without hose.... YOU must have your HOSE!" So our action kicked off from the Carnival Wednesday.
Wednesday: SVG's "FIRE FETE" promoted by Dwight Bing Joseph is the only place to be. This event is headlined by some of the biggest international soca stars for the current season, along with top local talent. We believe this year was the 3rd installment.
Thursday: On the cultural side, the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) hosts PANORAMA (Steel & Glitter) at concert capital Victoria Park. Party wise ... crickets chirpping!! Yes, it's a quiet night ... no joke! So link your friends and go bar hopping.
Friday: Motions Entertainment introduced a new event for some daytime liming adventures - "RUM CRAWL BUS TOUR". Kudos! If you attend this event, be warned that BBMing while on the bus will cost you a shot (bottle cork) of Sunset Very Strong Rum everytime you're caught in the act. Friday night's main event is "MISS CARIVAL" (yes spelt without the 'N') and after the show is the After Party.... all roads leads to Aquatic Club for "FAB FRIDAYZ".
Saturday: We always say, every true Carnival should have (1) a J'Ouvert and (2) a Cruise. Put two check marks for Vincy Mas! Early Saturday morning it's all about LIMERZ CRUISE "DELIRIOUS" which cruises along the coast of St. Vincent and gives you a chance to enjoy some of the nicest beaches in the world like Bequia. The cruise pretty much last all day, so the window of rest before hitting "SVG SOCA MONARCH FINALS" later on is very small. No worries... this show provides lots of energy and excitment.
Sunday: Three words .... "SLIPPERY WHEN WET"! It's an All Inclusive beach lime that's full of vibe, especially once the sun sets (no pun intended with Sunset rum )! It's scheduled from 1-8PM, so early risers you have time to relax and enjoy the isle. However, once this fete is over... chances are you will be going straight home. Yes, Don't Pass Go, Don't Collect $200... Go Straight HOME!!! You have J'OUVERT to deal with in a few hours.
Monday: "J'OUVERT" kicks off as early as midnight with individual band parties before they hit the streets around 5-6AM. We recommend arriving around 3-4AM to properly enjoy j'ouvert with your respective band because once the band gets on the road, forget about it. It will be you and the entire country jumping! Monday Mas is called "EVENING STREET PARTY" (and it does in fact start in the evening ... around 3-4PM), also referred to as T-Shirt Mas. And similiar to j'ouvert, it's difficult to keep out the stormers on the road.
Tuesday: It's the climaxx of Vincy Mas... "MARDI GRAS"! All of the typical Carnival Tuesday elements are present ... sexy masqueraders in full costume, free drinks (well Mirage Productions for certain) on the road and music trucks pumping sweet soca. Things get rolling around 10AM before all bands make their way to Victoria Park to be judged before starting the merry-go-round in town. It's easy for security to do their job on since revellers are in costume, differentiating them between the straglers & stormers, allowing a fun and safe carnival experience. We played mas with Mirage Productions and definitely give them two thumbs up!
Final Thoughts: Vincy Mas shares a lot of similarities as both Lucian Carnival and Grenada's Spicemas - Soca Monarch, Dimanche Gras, J'ouvert, 2-day Parade to mention a few. One will notice that after you hit a couple of events you quickly realize how small the island is, so it's easy to make friends (or enemies) fast. And surprisingly, some of the aspects we dislike - like the inability to keep paying non-paying revellers out of the bands - actually makes the carnival what it is ... a "People's Mas"!
Book your trips folks, Vincy Mas is definitely a Caribbean Carnival that needs to be on your "Carnival To Do List"!
There were a number of 2011 Vincy Soca tunes that I believe can play for the rest of the year's carnivals all the way into T&T Carnival 2011 .... Radio Stations/DJ's take note:-
Skinny Fabulous ft Busy Signal - Rave
Out (Popso Riddim)
and here's some of the popular songs enjoyed for the season...
Fireman - Animal
(2011 Soca Monarch King) | [Check
To our very special sponsors, Mirage Productions and the Grenadine House (Becky, Delroy, Brandon, Felly, Eddy .... we aren't going to call any names ) thanks again for your hospitality. See you guys for Vincy Mas 2012!
Dre aka The Carnival Jumbie; and the 2011 TJJ Vincy Mas
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.