Friday, 7 August 2009

It's Carnival Time in Grenada!

The Garvey mas camp on the Carenage, St. Georges, Grenada
The island is jumping. Soca music blasts in the buses and floats from waterside bars and parties across the anchorages to remind us Carnival is for everyone. Preparations for Grenada's Carnival have been going on for months in mas (masquerade) camps all over the country.
I visited a couple of mas camps in St. George's to see how those flamboyant costumes come together.
There are never too many feathers at Carnival
The designers we met allowed us to take photographs in their mas camps and generously took time to explain all about Carnival, from Jouvert and Jab Jab to the judging of the pan bands. Jouvert involves music in the streets (of course) and lots of paint, oil and having a good time. With a pre-dawn start, we opted out of the Jouvert in favor of sleep. We'll be heading to Panorama tonight to watch the steel pan bands compete at the National Stadium and it promises to be a long night.
Andre Garvey's theme for this year's carnival is "Journey to the Temple of the Sun"

The hats are ready for the red section of Richardo's band
Actor, children's book author and teacher, Richardo Keens-Douglas, was working on hats when we visited his mas camp high on the hill overlooking the Carenage in St. Georges. When I headed off with Susie, Matt and Karen to see what a mas camp looks like, I never imagined I'd arrive at the childhood home of a famous Grenadian! Not only is Richardo extremely talented, he's one of the most charming and delightful people you could ever hope to meet. What a wonderful surprise.
While Susie, Karen and Matt decided to become part of the Carnival, I opted to forego the limelight to stand on the sidelines taking photographs. Oh well, we can't all be Carnival stars. I can't wait to see them in their costumes!

Since we've been in Grenada, we've learned a whole new vocabulary. We know we don't want no Jumbi and for sure will be on the lookout for Jab Jab. As for wining, we'll leave that for the locals who really know how to move.

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