D'Carnival Corner

» Photo Galleries  » Carnival » St. Lucia  » 2010

E-mail this page to a friendE-mail to a friend
St. Lucia J'Ouvert 2010
St. Lucia J'Ouvert 2010

July 18th, 2010
King of Soca (St. Lucia)
King of Soca

July 15th, 2010
Color Me Red 21010 (St. Lucia)
Color Me Red 2010

July 14th, 2010

The Carnival Ref's hits Lucian Carnival (My Virgin Experience)

After missing St. Lucia Jazz (May) this year, I made up my mind to see what their carnival is all about. The original plan was to touch down in St. Lucia on Sunday July 11th in time to catch the World Cup Finals (Germany not in the finals ... boo hoo) and start enjoying Piton beers for early o'clock. BUT ... Murphy's Law won the battle once again! And so my MAD, SICK, CRAZY summer adventure began!!

Instead of Columbus - Charlotte - St. Lucia it was now Columbus - Philly - Miami .. no wait, change that to Ft. Lauderdale. I spent two nights in Miami (thanks for the hospitality Tall Ting aka Cuban Juice), minus my luggage which arrived in St. Lucia without me. Go figure! But heh, it was nice catching up with Party McFly and some of my South Floridian peeps.

Fast forward to Tuesday. I clear immigrations/customs at UVF airport with two bottles of Silver Tequila (read on for rest of this story) and my ride to town is sweating bullets outside (respect Jodi) ... but heh, I had to reunite with my luggage so I didn't have to rock an "I Love St. Lucia" t-shirt for the rest of my trip! smile

Now, question. "What does one do for St. Lucia Carnival from Wednesday to Las Lap on Carnival Tuesday?" Let's summarize.

Wednesday and Friday are the BIGGEST fete nights. On Wednesday, Red Unlimted offers "Color Me Red" (indoors) and on Friday it's all about "Outrageous in Black" (outdoors). They are both annual fetes, usually held at Gaiety venue, with Friday being the bigger of the two having both General and VIP areas. VIP is All Inclusive. But if you want to be smack in the action, stage front or mashing down de fence ... def go general admission. On Friday after "Outrageous in Black", which ended around 3AM, hardcore feters hit up the Pulse nightclub for "Insomnia" (12 midnight to 12 noon Saturday).

Both Thursday ("King of Soca" & "Talk of New York") and Saturday night ("Socaritis") parties were relatively quiet ... yes, very shocking! You would logically think that as the weekend progresses, so would the fetes. Not in St. Lucia Carnival! So we decided to hit up two private beach limes on the Saturday - Nina's Beach Madness @ Pigeon Island (early PM) and Jodi's Beach Lime @ $5 Beach (late PM). Beach Madness was lots of crazy games (sharades and competitive beach activities) and drinking. I'm still not sure who did more drinking? The wining or losing team?? What I can say is ... 1 Tequila, 2 Tequila, 3 Tequila ... FLOOR! By the time we made it to Jodi's Beach Lime, we had missed the bonfire, but the DJ (yes DJ with sound system and ting) was still pumpin' tunes and bar-b-que was still grillin'. Not even the rain could stop de lime! NOTE: Don't even attempt to go to $5 Beach without a 4X4 drive. TJJ recommends that these 2 beach limes merge for 2011, keeping both unique flavours ... "Nina & Jodi's INSANE Beach Party".

Onto Sunday. 3 events (well 4 if we rolling into J'Ouvert action) to add to your Lucian Carnival list. 1) Lucian Booze Cruise 2) Sweeny's All Inclusive and 3) Caribbean Soca Monarch. Unfortunately, we didn't make #2 and #3 this year because the Booze Cruise (gets rolling around 10-11AM and returns around 5-6PM) mash we up bad, bad!! All we can say is, "Good times!" Right Nina aka Popot Barbie Juice?

We heard that Jus 4 Fun's J'Ouvert party (Sunday night) was good, but believe it or not, we were still organizing collecting carnival costumes at 2AM Sunday morn... yes, just hours away from Carnival Monday. Again, only in St. Lucia! After getting less than an hour of shut eye, we linked up with "Bad Company" Back "N" Time J'Ouvert band around 4AM to chip along the streets of downtown Castries. Jus 4 Fun also had a big following, celebrating "Blue Devils" for J'Ouvert. And Mudsters, although small, was filled with loads of mud & fun!

Like Trinidad, St. Lucia celebrates 2 days of Carnival on the road. However, unlike Trinidad, Carnival Monday is the day all masqueraders come out early in full costumes as their bands are judged for the 'Band of the Year' title. We on the other hand, decided to catch some extra zzzz's and hit the road late. In retrospect, not the smartest of moves. By the time we got on the road after 3PM, Red Unlimited (band position #2 or #3), had long crossed the main judging point as we journey through a trail of drink cups, cans, rags and bandanas left behind on a now bare street. But thanks to a quick taxi ride, we were able to catch a lil' (and we mean lilttle) jump with Jus 4 Fun before Monday's parade concluded.

Carnival Tuesday kicks off around 12 noon, and revellers definitely are more free spirited on the road, perhaps sensing that this is their last jump for the season. We learnt that Carnival Monday is a public holiday (for most), but only a 1/2 day on Tuesday... which explains the late start on Tuesday. So, mas lovers... take note. Don't over do it for J'Ouvert and miss Monday Mas completely. Also, apparantly there's a history of rain for Carnival in St. Lucia (after all, it is rainy season), so you most certainly want to catch a proper jump on both days (especially if you afraid to get wet) by maximizing your time on the road.

After conducting a man hunt (or better yet, a school bus hunt) for our camera equipment following Tuesday's jump, "Rituals Las Lap" party was the place to be. $20EC gave you 4 drink chits and free corn soup ... a great deal to me... feels like we still owing them something! Btw, it's free entry for Rituals' masqueraders. This fete was a great way to wrap up our Lucian Carnival experience.

And so the Fat Lady has sung! St. Lucia Carnival 2010 is over. I still have a bad habit of comparing all carnivals to the mother of all carnival's - Trinidad & Tobago - and yes, I should know better! I won't go there. Funny enough, their carnival actually felt like a regular long weekend rather than a carnival weekend. And unlike neighbouring Caribbean islands like Jamaica and Barbados or even North American carnivals such as Miami, DC or Caribana ... Lucian Carnival needs to continuallly build hype leading up to the road/parade days ... a developmental project that Trini Jungle Juice is more than willing to assist with. I'm still puzzled that both Thursday and Saturday night are not bigger fete nights (unlike Wed and Fri).

But I did manage to enjoy myself. And of course, liming with the right friends always help. Lucian Carnival has it's own music (a lot of the Soca artistes still need to understand that there's a world beyond of St. Lucia) and identity, but still have lots of room for improvement to create that true carnival spirit on the isle and attract carnival lovers from different parts of the world. Will TJJ be back next year? Yes. We love Carnival!

Right, the call has been made. Time to hit Trini to see what TRIBE & BLISS has instore for Carnival 2011 (see TRIBE Mas 2011 Band Launch "The Way Of The Warrior") before heading to BIM for Crop Over 2010.

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

Chooks aka Daddy Juice aka The Carnival Ref

Boarding Liat Flight #309, destination ... Trinidad,
Chooks aka Daddy Juice aka The Carnival Ref

ps. Popot Barbie Juice... thanks for your hospitality and the "Welcome to St. Lucia" ballons!

<< St. Lucia Carnival 2009 Coverage >>

<< Main Carnival Photo Galleries >>