I’ve known about Carnival Miami for some time but I’ve never attended before, but this year was going to be different. What an experience it was. The intricate costumes, the dancing to the beats of reggae and soca and of course how can I forget the food and drinks. All ingredients for a great Carnival experience. One that I won’t soon forget.
This truly my first year being exposed to the whole Carnival scene. I’ve known that it happens I just never knew went into or what it was all about. Having friends play in the Ascension Carnival Mas Band allowed me to go to some of the fetes (celebration or party) and gave me an insight as to what goes on.
These bands spend months preparing and planning for this day and it showed. The costumes were extravagant and so intricate. What I enjoyed the most was the vast array of colors used in the costumes. The body painting was crazy as well. The people playing in this year’s Carnival Miami truly went all out.
I showed up at Sunlife Stadium, where the Carnival Miami was taking place, and was greeted with throngs of people dressed in elaborate costumes mingling with the spectators as well as the booming sounds of reggae and soca music. It was just a positive vibe to walk into. Everyone was enjoying themselves.
I met up with some friends and we watched all the bands march their way to the stage to be judged. It was cool just seeing everyone along the parade route waving the flags of their respective countries and dancing along with the those in the bands. Even though it was raining on and off you couldn’t tell by the way everyone was having a great time.
After we watched the bands parade by and assemble by the stage area we went to grab some food and drinks. When it comes to Caribbean food I’m pretty easy to please. If there is oxtail, rice and peas then I’m in heaven. You cannot separate me from my oxtail. We ate and drank for a bit before we made our way to the stage area.
We got a prime location where the bands lined up prior to they “cross over” the stage area. Every band had these massive flat bed trucks all decked out with their band information as well as their sponsor’s information. They also had massive speakers so their sounds could be heard. It was hard not to feel the music emanating from boisterous speakers.
All the masquerades playing lined up on the side of the respective truck and marched towards the stage, dancing and enjoying the moment along the way. Some of these bands were a couple hundred deep. It was great seeing everyone truly enjoy themselves.
My friends didn’t play this year because they just had a baby but next year the want to get a group of us together and play. I’ll think about it. I have a year to get into Carnival shape. I had a great time this year being a spectator but I’m sure playing in Carnival Miami is another beast altogether.