Monday, August 18, 2008

Grenada Carnival - Spice Mas 2008

Last week was a busy one. It was Carnival in Grenada!
The first festivity for us was Panorama, the steel drum competition. We bought tickets for the event at the Grenada National Stadium and headed out for the evening. The music was great, the band members were energetic and the competition was fierce. Some of these bands had more than 80 players and 120 instruments. The music started about 8:30 p.m. and didn't end until 1:30 a.m. I'm proud to say we hung in there until the very end! Because this was a competition, each orchestra played only one song. Most of the time was spent breaking down one band and setting up the next. Here's some video of the top 2 bands.
video
Two nights later we were at it again. Mike and Renee (Jacumba) and Jim and I headed back into St. Georges for the Monday Night Mas. We were told it would start around 6 or 7:00. You can never be sure because the carnival website doesn't even publish starting times. Grenada operates on what we cruisers refer to as GMT (Grenada Maybe Time). We arrived at 7:00 and the first band didn't come through until 10:30. The Mas is a big party where people sign up to participate in a parade where they follow a truck blaring music. They dance along wearing their sponsors' t-shirt, carrying glow-sticks and blowing whistles. This too is a judged event although I'm not sure what they're judged on. We watched the first couple of groups and then headed home. I think it's more fun to be in the parade/party then to watch it.
Tuesday, the day of the big Carnival parade. It was scheduled for noon but according to one of the participants it probably wouldn't start until about 2:00. We went to St. Georges with Mike and Renee and a van full of other cruisers. GMT was in play again...
Here's the parade route at 12:00. That's OK, we're going to lunch.


Here's the route at 1:00, no one even lining up.
2:00 and still empty.
3:00 Where's the damn parade!!!
These participants are just making their way to the start!
Things finally got going around 3:30.






























This parade had a group of children and as is usually the case, the kids were quicker to smile and pose for the camera.









Here's a video with some of the sights and sounds of Carnival....



video