Carnival Checklist: Vincy Mas, 101

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Photo: Rico DeShong/VIP Pix

TRADITIONAL CARNIVAL/RURAL CARNIVALS (Various dates)

Many people aren’t aware that St. Vincent has eight separate mini carnivals that happen between late April and early July— six on the main island, and one each in Bequia and Canouan. Each rural carnival is complete with its own J’Ouvert, wet fete, pageant and private events. Some are bigger than others, and can yield crowds of over 3,000 people. The best part of rural carnivals is that most of the events are free, and easy to access by local transport or paid taxi service. The most popular rural carnivals are P’Tani Mas (which launched this year May 8th, and finished on June 13th), St. Georges Carnival (which began May 23rd, and culminated June 7th), Windward Carnival (May 24-June 20), and Bequia Carnival, which launched June 13th and ends June 22nd. These events boast high community spirit and unchecked fun.

FANTASTIC FRIDAY (June 26)

A night of sweet music where the calypsonian semi-finalists compete for the title of Calypso Monarch. While the crowd at Soca Monarch (see below) can be wild and sometimes out of control, Fantastic Friday fosters a more relaxed ambiance, as patrons can sit back and absorb messages of social, political and economic issues communicated by the artistes through their songs.

JUNIOR EVENTS (June 27-30)

Most Vincy Mas events target the legal aged and mature crowd. However, these Junior events ensure that the minors and tiny tots are included in the festivities as well. The day of Junior Carnival, on June 27th, is cuteness overload on the road as kids from the age of two up to about 14 take to the streets of Kingstown in the most adorable costumes. The top primary and secondary school as well as community-based steel bands compete at Victoria Park in the Junior Pan fest, happening this year on June 28th. There’s also a Junior Calypso and Junior Soca Monarch competition on the 30th.

MISS CARIVAL PAGEANT (July 3)
Miss SVG and Miss Carival (that’s Carival, not Carnival) are the two important beauty pageants that take place during the Vincy Mas season. DeYonte Mayers, the winner of Miss SVG, held this year on May 30th, competes against beauty queens from around the region in the Miss Carival show, which is usually hosted in carnival city, Victoria Park.

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Miss Carival Pageant. Photo: Robert Clouden

STEEL & GLITTER (July 2)
Steel & Glitter—aka Panorama— is the Soca Monarch of Steel Pan. It is the final event where winners of all pan competitions compete on the big stage at carnival city. This event is great for music lovers and individuals just looking to hear great music and enjoy awesome live band performances.

SOCA MONARCH (July 4)
This is an event that MUST NOT be missed! Soca Monarch is the most anticipated carnival show. On the night of July 4th, after the pump all season long, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ best artists take the stage at Carnival City to compete against each other for the Soca Monarch crown. Performances are engineered to include clever and creative props, and dance routines designed to excite and amaze the audience. Soca fans are very serious about this competition and will go all out to support their artistes. Heated rivalry will ensue until the Soca Monarch winner is declared.