Carnival Checklist: Vincy Mas, 101

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J’Ouvert in Kingstown. Photo: Rico DeShong/VIP Pix

After more than a month of warm-up events and buildup, Vincy Mas finally reaches its climax on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, with the following climactic events.

J’OUVERT STREET PARTY (July 6)
J’Ouvert includes the actual J’Ouvert street party, which begins at in the wee dark hours of the morning where people fete on in paint and powder, and the J’Ouvert Old Mas competition where individuals dress up or arrange themselves using props to spoof social and national issues.

EVENING STREET PARTY ( July 6)
After J’ouvert, the plan is usually to head home, wash off, eat up and head back into town to join the Parade of the T-shirt Bands, for another turn around the town. Currently, the most popular t-shirt bands are The Network SVG, the Guinness t-shirt band (these two are known for having the sexiest apparel), Mustique Company and LIME.

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Kids band in “Parrot Feathers” costume, at Mardi Gras. Photo: St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority

MARDI GRAS (July 7)
This is officially the last day and last hurrah of Vincy Mas, the moment everything else has been leading up to. Elaborate, creative and colourful masquerade bands are judged for the Band of the Year title on the grand stage at Victoria Park, after which they take to the streets for one final chip up and down the streets of Kingstown. The day usually culminates in one big lime at Heritage Square or around the corner in “Bankyard” – a bar lime set up on the premises of the CIBC bank.