Carnival season is right around the corner! Planning for carnival can be a stressful and overwhelming task; especially when planning with a group. But no need to fret! Sha, creator of the blog T?ingz Nice, gives some amazing tips for new carnival go?ers in her Frequently Asked Carnival Questions post seen below. — 2017 is approaching and that means a fresh carnival season is on the way! Below you will find a hefty list of carnival questions that have been asked over the years. I have done my best to provide you with informed responses based on my experiences as a carnival veteran. I?ve plugged some of my friends and their businesses in this post so please be sure to check them out; you won?t be disappointed. If you have any questions that are not on the list, feel free to comment and I will be sure to get back to you. Cheers to all the carnival virgins?
Ready, set, read!
Q: How early should I arrive before carnival day? A: Most people like to arrive at least 5 days prior to the actual parade. Many of the popular events will take place during what is known as the core weekend. If your pockets allow, feel free to arrive earlier to attend other staple events.
Q: Where should I stay? A: The goal should be to stay as close to the action as possible. If you are unsuccessful, look for locations directly on the outskirts of the main town/parish near the events. Here are some ideal locations in these countries I’ve visited:
Trinidad ? Woodbrook Area in Port of Spain
Barbados ? Anywhere in or near St. Lawrence Gap
Jamaica ? New Kingston area
Grenada – Grand Anse Beach area
Q: Are hotels better than private rentals? A: Not necessarily. If you want to do less work and have access to consistent resources, then hotels may be right for you. Just be sure to inquire about hotel policies prior to booking as there may be limitations to what you can and cannot do on hotel premises. Private rentals allow for a more home-like feel but this comes with additional responsibility. If you are travelling with a large group, private rentals are a good way to go.
Q: How do I get around in a foreign country? A: There are numerous options. You can hire a reliable driver prior to your trip, hail a maxi cab as needed, car pool with friends/associates nearby or take public transportation if available. Depending on your level of comfort you, may also rent a car (not recommended in Trinidad).
Q: How do I communicate with friends and family while traveling overseas? A: WhatsApp seems to be the most popular way to communicate nowadays. For this, you will need cellular data or Wi-Fi. Many providers now offer free global roaming. Call your service provider to inquire. Sprint allows free texting and 2G data while traveling internationally. Works like a charm for me! If you have a GSM service provider you can simply purchase a chip and a temporary plan upon arrival and use it to text and make calls.
Q: What is Jouvert? A: Jouvert is a lively parade held early in the morning where participants get ?dutty? on the road with paint, powder, mudd, chocolate, water and oil in some cases. Participants follow big trucks and dance to music as they get drenched in the elements.
Q: What is a mas band? Do I have to be a professional dancer or play an instrument? A: A mas or masquerade band is a group that participates in the parade with the objective of winning, “Band of the Year.” These groups are responsible for providing costumes, drinks and other services for clients while on the road. Each mas band presents a variety of costumes. These costume variations are known as “sections”. Anyone can sign up to join a mas band as long as there is space available. No dance or prior experience necessary.
Q: How do I join a band? A: There are various ways to register with a band. Here are a few:
At the band launch: Normally, at the end of the band launch participants have the opportunity to register for the section of their choosing if space is available.
Online: Most mas bands have individual websites which allow you to register online. Many require an up front deposit to secure your costume.
Via committee member: If you know a committee member associated with the band you may be able to register under them before general admission opens.
Q: How do I pick a costume? A: Picking a costume can be difficult if you don?t know what you?re looking for. It is recommended that you consider style, comfort and cost. Think about what is most important to you and go from there.
Q: What?s the difference between, “backline” and “frontline?” A: Backline costumes are the simple versions of a design. They are generally less expensive and more ?dancer ?friendly.” Frontline costumes are exclusive costumes with a ?wow-factor.” Front line packages may come with additional perks and services such as photo shoots, make up sessions or VIP seating.
Q: What is Monday wear and where can I get it? A: Monday wear are outfits worn on the Monday before Carnival (in some countries). This is an opportunity for participants to get creative and flaunt their stuff. Some people go all out while others keep it simple. You may create your own Monday wear or enlist the talents of a costume designer. You?re welcome to place an order through T?ingz Nice Designs but I also encourage you to check out my friends at below!
Shop Evolve – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ahsek Designs – email@example.com
Chez Zen Mas – firstname.lastname@example.org
For tutorials on making your own carnival costume be sure to follow the T’ingz Nice “DIY Carnival” series on YouTube.
LAST MINUTE PLANNING
Q: I decided to travel last minute. Where can I go to get costumes and fete tickets on short notice? A: The most popular place to find last minute costumes and fete tickets (and sell them) is www.fineahban.com. You can browse the listings of people who are selling items and message them for additional information.
You can also join a carnival group on Facebook and peruse the postings for availabilities and make new friends in the process. Check out the ?Which Fetes Yuh Going Worldwide? group on Facebook or link up with a member from the Ministry of Appreciation (M.O.A). Love my carnival groups!
Please proceed with caution when purchasing from strangers and obtain as much information as possible before moving forward with the transaction.
—- For the full article (which we HIGHLY recommend you read) click on over to the T?ingz Nice blog and enjoy!