St. Thomas Carnival

8 06 2008

OK, yuh boy Midnght Robber Stickin. I know I have been MIA for awhile.. but certainly you understand. There were no carnivals to go to.  After Ash Wednesday there isn’t much to look forward to for several months.  But like all junkies…I need my fix and a true Junkie will scrap the bottom of the barrel to get that high. 

Hence, I found my way to the USVI visiting the beautiful Island of St. Thomas.  They just “happen” to be having their Carnival the weekend while I was there.  What a coincidence!!  Now I missed the week long festivities as I arrived on Carnival Friday so I can’t speak on the full slate of activities.  I missed their version of Jouvert, I missed Machel in HD and I missed several other events.

I did make it to “the Village” as they call it.  Its a giant parking lot with a stage, vendors outlining the entire area and a carnival/fair on one side with rides and games and such.  OK..its pretty kid friendly.  As a matter of fact…. there were alot of blasted kids there…and Im not talking just teenagers.  If you see the amount of little ones running the place.  If there is one thing I give the St. Tomians and Cruzans credit for. They will not let pregnancy or their multiple toddlers get in the way of their limin.  And not juss the women either.  You will see plenty fellas pushing strollers or child in arms liming all 1, 2, 3AM in the morning.   Very responsible fathers but yuh know, the toddlers really should be in dey bed.

Now I want to stress the fact that they “lime”.  These people don’t fete. They will stand and watch a band and not move.  I can’t even call them social. That would be a compliment.  They don’t seem to fond of DJ’s either.  A band will get on stage and not get off.  I witnessed the “SugarBand” performing. I thought they were pretty good for the full 3 1/2 hours they were on stage.  They don’t compare to the HD’s, Traffiks and Krosfyahs of the world but they were decent. But enough about “the Village” lets get to the real event.  MAS!!!

No..I did not play mas. I went purely as a spectator.  The parade route is short but moves pretty slowly so if yuh playing mas, the 10 blocks or so on the parade route will seem like 3 miles.  Its held on a relatively narrow road with limited room for spectators. But that works for them because….there arent that many spectators.  I moved pretty freely up and down the road.  Carnival in St. Thomas pretty much for the locals. Its not an event that would cater to “visitors” which is a good thing because MAS isn’t a commercial business for them unlike my beloved TnT. Its for their heritage… whatever that is.  It is a USVI so whatever they had is obviously diluted because of the heavy American Influence, but there is some there to appreciate.

So whats my impression of Mas in St. Thomas???  well… Its entertaining and amusing to say the least.  The bands come in 2 categories, small and very small.  Atleast that is what they looked to me.  Membership in some bands didn’t exceed 15.  The largers ones probably hit 50 masqueraders. They are big on dance routines.  Some bands are entirely teenagers.  Some with grown folks.  Some with creative themes. Some with playful funny themes.  Some with sexy girls..and of course..there were Mampees.  Lots and lots of Mampees. For a tropical island with beautiful beaches, Im a bit dumbfounded by the high percentage of women out of shape.  Maybe its my imagination but pictures don’t lie. And you know….I have alot of pictures.  So here we go!

rhelly, rhelly big mampees


 Comical Themes

No Shortage of Bamcees

Dance Routines

It Rained

Some Presentations look Rhell nice

Some were… “interesting”

And down right ridiculous

They were Patriotic

They were political


But all it all, it was an experience. The USVI is beautiful enough to visit anytime. I wouldn’t go out of my way to make sure Im there for carnival though.  As I stated, its really not for the outsiders, or so it seems.  Its entertaining…but not exciting.  USVI will see me again.  Their carnival may not….but the Island will.

If you want to see the full 323 can visit our friends over at Phatjamz.




3 responses

11 06 2008

I think you goh find a bamsee where ever you
But at least you were brave enough to go

22 06 2008

Hello WK.

I have resided in the Virgin Islands for 10 yrs. I’ve never witnessed Rock carnival in person, nor do I wish to, however I have seen STX carnival a few times. And as much as it’s not ur lil TnT STT carnival is reputed the ‘best’ carnival out of all the 3 islands. Alot of ppl from my school does go there every yr- it’s like you never left cruz. Infact, they tend to make more noise for the j’ouvert rather than the ‘parade’ itself. I heard this year the route was very long, and yes, sun is blazing as eva for j’ouvert. Every year the gvt buildings (schools, ofiices, etc.) get from wed-fri off when it’s the week of the parade.

As for the obzokey women, oh yes, that is very much relivant in St. Croix as well as STT. So prevalent that they will call those 2 lovely girls and I anoerexic. Every year it always rains in Rock for carnival. One of the IT bands is the green band bliv it or not. And for the ‘comic’ 1, thats a group call JDPP (juvenile delinquency programme sumting) and they lauched a band JDPP Jammerz I think 2 yrs ago. And their theme was bedrock. Every year you would see spots of politicians in the parade, either in the ‘troupe’ as they call it, or being call to do a dance (which is usually the gov) I don’t think the ‘true carnival’ has dilated because of the American influence as you said. Besides the village, every VI carnival have the food market where you can go and eat authentic VI cuisine amongst other activities which cant come to mind.

I completely agree with you on the ‘limin’ and no fete scene. These ppl tend to talk down on us ‘down islanders’ but the only good thing they can say is that ‘ayo know how to party d’man. i hear carnival down deh duz b crazee.’ PPL making noise for the ‘jam’ thats coming with watever iron influenced band thats going to play but when you reach is just ppl standing dere posing off their latest fashion from Rave and Rainbow. lol

There are alot of dance routines because, iono. But they still have ALOT of majorette bands thats ongoing for 50+ years. 1 thing that annoys me is that every band you look @ theres always some stick ladies are holding on to. And also the fact that the ratio of men to women is like 20:1 is very disturbing. You usually go down a route 1ce and thats it. And people pay US $200+ dollars for that shit.

In STX the roads are waay larger. But it’s still quite similar with the kinda troups, village, etc. The only diff is that they launched a ‘party monarch’ last yr in cruz for carnival. And again, with all dat nice road Frederiksted have, it’s ashame ppl can only go through the route once. And for the record, my mom and I don’t go to town cause it’s parade as the locals say it, (you barely hear the word carnival!!) but rather because this is a good opportunity to get out of the house and lime. Yes, lime!! lol. Every year the Trinis have their own mud band but it fulla old people. This year they change the name to West Indian watever the name was. @ the end, you can jump up in a band (no wayy!!!) Xpress Band. And it does be hype, but it still have good space where you can walk and not step on anybody toe. I guess the hypeness is not convincing as it sounds because it look me a lil time to loose up and I couldn’t find no friends of mine atm. But alas, is how you make it.

Bon voyage to your next Carnival.

2 07 2008

Thanks for your feedback Nicky, very informative.Which island r u originally from?

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