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Trini Jungle Juice made its second trip to Norfolk, VA to cover the 9th Annual Virginia Caribbean American Carnival Association's Caribbean Festival. To make that short... the Virginia CaribFest! With headliners Kees Dieffenthaller, lead vocals of Kes The Band, and Jamaican artiste Da'Ville performing on one stage, we knew that this year's CaribFest would be a great event.

To kick things off, the Annual Jouvert All White Boat Ride was as usual sold out. Aboard the Spirit of Norfolk, the Virginians were in full swing at this event. There were three levels of partying for three hours. The top floor opened to the blue skies, while the middle and bottom floors were packed with those who wanted to palance through the night. No doubt a successful event was looming. The food (aaahhhhh the hot wings were the best) was on point. Nicely decorated and conveniently located for the patrons as well. There was a cash bar on each floor that made getting drinks very easy. Thumbs up for this!!! This event went off without a hitch and we had a great time. DJ UK was stellar on the one's and two's with his MC right alongside him, keeping the crowd rolling. This event was fantastic! If you are planning on attending next year, be sure to purchase your tickets early.

On day two, we kicked the day off with breakfast before heading right outside of the Marriott to the parade route. Small bands were complimented by lovely masqueraders that filled the streets. Hundreds of patrons came out in full support of this festival and can be seen along the pavements. People from all walks of life gathered to witness the 9th Annual CaribFest Parade of the Bands in all its beauty and color! The City of Norfolk must be congratulated for their organization and police escort. The streets were also very visibly clean. From the outside looking in, it appears that this was the perfect place to host VA's CaribFest, considering the city's involvement. Great job!

After a couple hours, all roads led to Town Point Park for the Festival Summer Jam Concert. And you must know that if you weren't present, that you absolutely missed a treat. A beautiful location right by the water, with the USS Wisconsin in the back ground.

This is, and I must be clear, one of the few carnivals that I have seen that incorporated a variety of islands and their culture. Whether it was song or dance, whether you were from Belize to Bahamas or from Bridgetown to Port-of-Spain, the flags of every Caribbean Island were represented (either on stage of by a vendor, or two).

To add to this multicultural event, the VCACA Committee did an outstanding job in its organization of the entire event. Very noticeable was the presence of the event staff. They were everywhere and were all willing to help at a dimes notice. Great job VCACA! To us, we appreciated seeing the thousands of patrons on their lawn chairs, the hundreds of vendors with their endless supply of foods, drinks, paraphernalia, exhibits, the VIP area's endless supply of foods and drinks, the massive stage with it's lighting and sounds, and to top things off... the full complement of artistes, bands, performers and entertainers. And to add icing to the cake, MC Wassy was celebrating his 9th year as well with VCACA!

Famous for two things, 1) His sayings "Wassy Man Say So" and "Always passing through" and 2) His well tailored outfits ... so it was only fitting to see MC Wassy decked off in his 'National Flag' outfit.

As the evening went on with fun for both children and adults, TJJ was present to capture every bit of it. After a few bands (Session Rockers and Nature's Child) and other cultural groups performed, the main part of the evening was upon us. Reggae artist Da'Ville took to the stage around 5pm to the pleasure of the crowd. He charmed the screaming women with his lyrics and gave the entire audience a fantastic show. At one point, we almost lost him to a barrage of women in the crowd when he decided to come off the stage. A fantastic performance to say the least. Da'Ville finished his performance as the sun settled in the west.

Kes, in usual fashion, rocked the house with his performance. Known as a tireless worker on the stage, Kes, thrilled his fans and gained new followers with his delivery. With songs such as "Wotless", "Stress Away" and "Endless Summer", Kes stole the show and complemented the fun filled evening.

Razor and Leonce and the Request Band soon took to the stage and added to what was working out to be the best CaribFest to date. Very energetic and exhilarating, Razor captivated the numbers, when he sang his 2014 hit song "Bess Fete". Hailing from NYC, the Request Band is quickly becoming one of the top performing bands in the country.

To finish off the evening was Vybz Evolution. A staple at VA CaribFest, Vybz held their own and delivered a solid performance.

Oh... and by the way, after the concert, we had just enough time to shower and head over to the after party. Thanks to DJ UK for looking out for BK Entertainment and TJJ with the VIP table. And the wings....... my oh my!

To the credit of the VCACA, they had a stellar line up that provided something for everyone in attendance. They were very well organized and professional, they were visible, and more importantly, they were welcoming to everyone they had in attendance. These traits are sure signs of a committee that knows what they are doing. With their 10th year Anniversary looming around the corner, we are certain that you will hear about their event very soon. If you have not visited the Virginia CaribFest, please place it on your carnival calendar. Its always in the month of August.

To wrap up, I would like to thank Mike and Pat and their hard working team for their tireless work and efforts in making this year's CaribFest a success for so many people. We must shout out the Da'Ville team, Kes team, Razor and Leonce, the BK Entertainment (Jason and Nora), MC Wassy, the police officers and all the staff members of the VCACA committee. We are looking forward to the 10th year celebrations. We hear it will be EPIC!

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

Virginia CaribFest 2014

Out and About as Always,
Joy Juice and the TJJ VA CaribFest 2014 Team; Ben Boozer Photography & Redd Juice

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