Trinidad and Tobago Carnival When:7 – 8 Mar 2011 (annual) Where:Queen’s Park Savannah Cost:Free; some concerts are ticketed, prices vary Opening Hours:Mon from 2am; Tue from 8am The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is the ultimate street festival. Each and every year, thousands upon thousands of colorful, diverse and feathered masqueraders take to the streets and dance to music provided by DJ trucks. Wear sequins and feathers, glitter and body paint, and join the party. Carnival in Trinidad was first had its origins by the French during their period of settlement in Trinidad in the late-18th century, the carnival was taken over by the ex-slaves after emancipation in 1838. They changed the, costume balls and carriage rides into a frenzied street festival. Carnival also introduced “J’ouvert” (pronounced “Jouvay”).
J’ouvert or “ole mas” starts pre-dawn of Carnival Monday. People dance freely to calypso and soca, in tattered clothing, body paint, oil, chocolate and mud. The costumed mass in the streets arrives on Carnival Monday evening and Carnival Tuesday. Many of the large carnival bands provide masqueraders with an all-inclusive packages and experiences. This includes, the price of the costume, access to mobile bars on Trucks with premium drinks, food, vanity areas and air-conditioned buses for the weary. There are hundreds of street and indoor fetes and parties. Competitions such as Panorama, and King and Queen of Carnival are popular. Also there are the finals of the steelband competition, the battles for the Soca and Calypso Monarch titles. For Safety, and general traveling cautions. Visitors are advised to leave all valuables at home when venturing out, be sure to stay in groups. Do not tred down dark and lonely places. Keep your handbags and wallets at home if possible. And of course do not accept rides from strangers.