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Carnival Ready!? or Not?! Part 1

Every year for carnival, I find myself packing up until the night before … “What to bring to Trinidad?” creates more angst for me around wardrobe choice instead of everything else (the irony). So for Part 1 of the Carnival Ready!? Or Not we are gonna talk about the build up before carnival- the fetes and social spots!

There are 4 general types of fetes: concerts, beach/boat, stush, anti-stush and dutty-  this list is not mutually exclusive for example there are stush and anti-stush boat rides- so on and so forth.

Concert- self-explanatory,

Beach/pool/boat fetes– self explanatory,

Stush Fete– the crowd has come to shut it down with their finest threads and best small whine stances. The photos will be plentiful, the ambiance likely to suit and plenty of cmall talk and people watching

Anti-Stush Fete– there is a lyric “if ya stush go in de bush”. At an anti-stush fete the energy is often palpable from the party-goers getting lost in the music and people. A small whine is often the replacement for a verbal greeting and the caliber of said small whine determines just how anti-stush the next moves are.

Dutty- these may be paint, powder and or water fetes. Apparently WASA has prohibited the use of water at fetes, however last weekend Soaka was definitely a wete fete!

Other Important Socials leading up to Carnival

Calypso Tents: at these gatherings calypso artists entertain a sit-down audience with their amazing storytelling and lyrics

Pan Yards: Panorama (a competition between the best steel pan orchestras) is the Saturday before Carnival Monday and so for the weeks leading up to the event each group is steady practicing and where there is music and good vibes there’s likely to be a lime ( a hangout)

Limin’ on the Avenue- yes lime is both a noun and a verb, The Avenue, is Aripita Avenue, a strip lined with clubs, bars, and restaurants that if all else fails you can grab a drink and mingle with some locals

What does this mean for packing?

Make sure your wardrobe is ready for the event. My advice is check out the party’s social media and recap videos to see what the vibe will be. You don’t want to wear your I’m too cute to move outfit (we actually don’t advise anything that restricts you this much anywhere-but if you must) to an anti-stush fete however at a stush party or to go to a calypso tent- floss on my friend!

I also cannot stress enough the importance of footwear- many parties are outside on uneven ground, or grass- they are not friendly to stilettos so if heels are a must go for a wedge 😉 thank us later.  While there’s often a place to sit somewhere  be prepared to be standing and dancing your life away so you want to be comfy.

What do I do now?

  1. List out your fetes

  2. Get the scoop on the stush vs. anti stush

  3. Is a bathing suit required?

  4. Will I get soaked, painted or powdered?

  5. Check list how many outfits for each kind of fete and consider your fashion questions handled- put them in the bag, before your change your mind!!!

For Part 2 Carnival Ready!? or Not? I’ll be doing a live chat on Instagram next Tuesday Feb 19 at 8:30pm EST to answer any questions that you have! Feel free to send them in advance to

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