All images used in this post are courtesy of our friends at ARRC Creative Media. We aren’t being biased at all, but we think you need to know that they have the best pictorial carnival coverage (and we love their other work too). So check out their Facebook Page, their Twitter feed and their website.
It’s been three, yes THREE, years since our last Bacchanal Jamaica Carnival post. We know, we know… it has been entirely too long but we have the best pictures to make up for it.
This year’s soca season was VERY active and when we say active, we mean it. Certainly there were over 100 parties in the 3 week period leading up to the last hurrah: The Road March. There was something to do every hour of the day: breakfast party, lunch time party, socacise, after work jam, evening party, lyme, cooler fete… you name it, it was held. For a minute we thought we were in Trinidad, not just from the DJ lineups, but from the sheer number of events held in under a month.
While we took a backseat to almost all the soca events this year – we even missed our annual Trini Jungle Juice – Sun. Rum. Fun (which we were going to before it even had a name) – we made it to the big event.
We experienced our first ever carnival !
Bacchanal Jamaica Carnival 2016: Legacy
To be honest, we were a little excited about this first carnival experience. After we signed up with a T-shirt band and cut our shirts to perfection, we prepared for the big day:
- 100 SPF sunscreen for the face
- spray on 30 SPF sunscreen for the rest of the body (which we carried with us and reapplied periodically)
- a water bottle (it gets REAL hot in these streets)
- some money (just incase)
- of course, our cell phones
- Friends !
Walking the streets – just the two of us – would not have been a bad idea. We would have survived, but having a crew is so much better. Always having someone to turn to when a particular song starts playing, and really just to share the moment with people who are fun (and will distract you from the walking).
We met the trucks at the starting point – Mas Camp – and that’s where the drinking begun (at 10 AM : please don’t judge us). The game plan was to drink dark rum or scotch throughout the day, on the rocks, and have water intermittently.
The magic of the photos we look at after every Bacchanal Jamaica Road March really does the experience no justice. Five minutes into the road march, we were already convinced that we would have to return next year.
Knowing the season’s soca songs were also an asset, perhaps even a requirement to enjoying the full experience. Chippin’ down the road singing the songs that are blaring from the trucks’ speakers really is priceless.
It’s been a few weeks since the Road March (April 3, 2016) and we still don’t know how long (distance that is) the road march was. But we completed it, without any complaints. You hardly feel like you’re walking such a distance because the drinks are flowing, the vibe is right and the fete-ing nice.
You were able to get into some of the Carnival Sunday events with your arm band, and we stopped off at Heineken Rio to say hello to a few friends and re-joined the group. It was really cool to see the diversity of the carnival crowd. Spectators were even out in wheelchairs watching the parade!
After the lunch stop and we were refreshed with some cold towels and standing by the water sprinklers for a few seconds, we took to the roads again this time with a little more energy than before.
Not sure if it was the alcohol, but everyone looked great on the road, the vibrant colours, the jubilation. The mood was infectious, everyone really seemed to be having a great time.
Overall, we had a great time and we would definitely do it again. At the end of the march we went back to Mas Camp and dinner was offered but we were a little too tired to wait in line for dinner.
Tabanca is real … A few days after Carnival Sunday we were having some serious withdrawal and had to draw for a few soca mixes.
Our first carnival experience undoubtedly gets 5 stars !
Thanks again to the team from ARRC Creative Media for their awesome sauce coverage and agreeing to partner with us for this post.
See you on the road next year !!