- Trinidad and Tobago Carnival – A Brief Overview
- Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 2 – Soca Music
- Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 7 – Carnival Bands
- Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 3 – Steelbands and Panorama
- Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 4 – Fetes!
- Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 5 – Dimanche Gras
- Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 6 – J’Ouvert & Ole Time Mas
- Trinidad & Tobago Carnival: Part 8 – Road March
- Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 9 – Ash Wednesday
I was talking to a Brazilian friend a few years ago and she was surprised at some of the differences between our Carnival and theirs. You see it was a few weeks ago when she decided to look and see what costume/band she should play with. She was shocked when all the Trinis were like, whoa you are way too late. You see, here Carnival bands launch their designs in the final quarter of the previous year. Designs go on sale shortly after and the hottest sections sell out very quickly, sometimes within hours, as people put down their deposits. Several weeks before Carnival the actual costumes are ready for pickup with the rest of your deposit. Oftentimes people don’t have the money or desire to pick up their costumes. However since costumes are sized to the measurements of the buyer if you are trying to pick up a costume last minute you may be stuck with one that is 2 sizes too small, or too large.
Carnival bands range from small local affairs to large elaborate franchises. They may focus on Las Vegas showgirl styled costumes, or on imaginative social commentaries and folklore. On Carnival Monday and Tuesday the bands file through the streets along a prior pre-approved route, complete with music trucks with live musicians and DJs. This route passes past viewing and judging points for the title of ‘Band of the Year’.
Additional Carnival Band Links:
Carnival is not just for the adults though Before the adults have their time in the sun the children also have their turn with their very own Kiddies Carnival
For many Trinis this is where they first get their taste of ‘mas’ I never played in the big Kiddie Carnival but always took part in my prep school’s private one
There I am!
This post was originally published on February 3, 2007. It has been updated three times since then.