My fellow swamper and I decided to take in the annual Caribana festival some years ago and were up at some ungodly hour to take the Go train into the Exhibition grounds and make sure we had a good seat for the proceedings. I’m pretty sure we were the first ones there and we set our chairs up at a certain point along the parade route that we thought would give us the best advantage for taking photos.
As the morning progressed and things started getting busier, more and more campers were coming in and setting up tents and hauling in coolers and grills and we got to see what serious onlookers did to set up. Obviously this was a long all day event for them. I’m not sure we even thought ahead enough to bring water with us.
We met some really nice people from Antigua who come out for it every year and one of their daughters was taking part, we got to meet her later, lovely young lady. Well after noon, the parade finally started and the colours and the hoopla were meant for photography. Everyone seemed to be having a great time and the music was vibrant and made you want to get up and dance to it and the costumes were more beautiful with each passing group. The stars of the show though were the extravagant floats, some of which were worn by a shapely individual and hauled on wheels behind them to trailer floats with everyone dancing and playing instruments. It was a sea of colour and feathers and sensual brown bodies in complicated and colourful two pieces with towering headpieces of bejewelled adornment.
The Grande Parade will take place on Saturday, August 5th in 2017 but officially Caribana starts on August 3rd and runs until August 7th. Try and book a week-end at one of the hotels downtown as the later it gets on the day of the parade the more congested the traffic.