Grenada's Carnival 2012: Bring on the Oil!

Yes, I must say, it is a bit odd that Grenada's Carnival is in August, but none the less, the entire experience from the concerts prior to the beginning of the festivities to the time my flight departed to the states, was mind blowing in the most awesome way!

Pree Day
During the first week back in Grenada, a local Grenadian artist, Tallpree, was celebrating his birthday by hosting a concert at the National Stadium. 
Notice this picture and then read below for a little humor...
There was a big stage with good lighting set up in the middle of the stadium field and of course, there were seats open in the stands for anyone. There were several artists that were expected to make an appearance, but since I was unfamiliar with them, I wasn't even sure who attended and who didn't, but regardless, it was fun entertainment, a great turn out and where I was able to start my "whining" dance lessons. "Whining" is a particular dance that the locals dance to the pop music and is a bit different than the club dancing in the states, but the more I danced, I was well informed that I was doing it correctly from the start :) This event lasted until about 5 a.m.... Whew!
{Now, back to the first picture above...} One humorous detail that my cousin, Cris, pointed out to me was the stage and fence set up. As you can tell from this picture, the fence was set up on the wrong side. So, the entire night, we had to girls {mostly} dancing and easily climbing on the fence. Pretty annoying, but just that small detail could have made a little more enjoyable experience, but that's okay :) I laughed once he pointed it out to me.

Panoramic Concert
An easy way to describe Carnival {in my opinion} is like a series of competitions. There are particular teams, called "bands" that locals cheer on for best performance, dress, energy, etc. So, on Saturday night, there was another awesome performance by the panoramic bands! It's always been a treat for me, as a former band member growing up, to see pan bands because they are expensive equipments for public school systems to just have for certain songs and they are very cultural. This night was awesome and heard several bands with cool dancers as well.
Most of the events start somewhat at a decent time and go until wee hours in the morning. The Tallpree concert started around midnight and lasted until 5 a.m. Everyone stayed until 5 a.m.! The Panoramic concert/contest started around 8 p.m. and lasted until about midnight/1 a.m.-ish but then had a concert immediately following that lasted until 5 a.m. For this, we only stayed until about 3 a.m. So, as you can see, just from those two events, trying to catch up on sleep from here on out is non existent. 
From my cousin's house at the top of a mountain, from the beginning of the Carnival festivities through the end {4-5 days} you constantly hear music coming from the lagoon area down below, even in wee hours of the morning!

J'ouvert Morning
After a long day at Hog Island, after a few hours of sleep, it was time to wake up for J'ouvert! We change to our clothes in which we wish to never see again and cover ourselves in baby oil for easier clean later. Around 2:30 a.m., my cousins and I walked down the mountain to Port Louis for the beginning of the festivities. At this time of night, St. George's was so alive, it seemed like it was 8 p.m. Everyone was ready! We first just stood on the street and observed everyone walking around and getting pumped up. Anything goes for this. I saw some really odd things that people were dressed as, carrying around, etc. Ex: There was a guy dressed as a tree..?? There were multiple people carrying around a baby doll..?? {The list goes on} As more and more people came to the start of the "parade" area, there was a guy who followed us and made himself apart of our "group" that we didn't really have to begin with and didn't know the guy himself, but he helped cover us in motor oil. {Yes, I just said motor oil.} 
We all knew the event was starting when we heard the music trucks coming and the real "Jab Jab." These guys are COVERED from head to toe with motor oil. "BRING THE OIL!!"Everyone else has buckets and cups of different colored paints that are spread throughout the crowd. Once the loud music starts, it's just a huge mob of dancing, jumping around and people putting colors of paint on you. Most of the ways you receive your paint is going up to dance with someone else and that color will be on you. We did this until 8:30 a.m. and were exhausted!
Before and after picture.
Cris and I! 
There was no way on earth I was going to take my iPhone or camera down for pictures. It would have immediately been destroyed by motor oil or paint! J'ouvert will probably go on the top five most awesome experiences of my life! I've never had so much fun!

So, after parading around for about six hours in the wee hours in the morning, we heard from our friend, Reina, that she was ready to go to a meeting with our Pretty Mas groups and was going to bring our costumes too! We had only received about a couple hours of sleep by this point, but I was excited to see them. She arrived and was pretty much ready to go down and parade. Originally, Tammy and I weren't going to go down for the parade of just judges to see us, but decided to go ahead and go down anyways. I couldn't believe I was about to go parade around in my costume. It's very elaborate and something you don't just see everyday in the US!
We walk down and there were a ton of people dressed in costumes for their "band." There was a lot of standing and waiting, but it was fun! I think my group did an awesome job. Once again, we paraded behind a big truck that was surrounded with huge speakers and make three different stops for the judges to see how we dance together, dress and how much energy we have at three different points in the parade. I was the only Caucasian girl in the group and I knew the older ladies were pretty skeptical of a "tourist" joining the group, but I was complimented on my whining dance skills :)

I have a ton more of information and pictures to post, so check out the following blog for more of my Carnival experience in Grenada!


  1. Oh my gosh, Sabrina! This is AWESOME! I'm loving reading about your time at Carnival!!!!! I've never seen or heard of anything like this before! Please post more!!

  2. Thank you!! It's kind of hard to put everything into words! It's such an awesome experience! :) I'll try to type faster!! haha


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