Saturday, January 2, 2010

Carnival 2009-2010 St. Kitts

Happy 2010 everybody! New Year's Eve day (got that?), we headed downtown to watch the kiddie carnival parade. We were told it would start at 2pm, but that would be wrong...It should have though considering 2 cruise ships were in town and they tend to leave by 4. Look how much bigger the Queen Mary 2 is compared to that other ship.

Plus at 4, it started to rain. Hard...Most of us tried to stay dry under the eaves, but there was really no hope.

We were invited out to celebrate the "eve" part of the evening but decided to just get in our jammies, split a bottle of wine, eat some popcorn, and go to bed early. We were woken up at midnight by fireworks, but it started raining again almost immediately after the first series of sky rockets went up. About 10 minutes after the display was done, it stopped raining again. Gotta feel for the firework launchers (and the folks that paid for them). We were very happy to be snug, dry, and warm. I had watched the Australians celebrate at 9 that morning and on New Year's Day Mike & I screamed Happy New Years at each other at a civilized 8am...It counts.

The next day started with us driving around a bit. Look at the ocean - glad we weren't out there!

Even the sea side looked like that, which is rare. Usually at least one side is protected. Not this day. Land is good...

Look what else we saw.

His & her helicopter pads (1 in front; 1 in back)! We also saw a 40' long dinghy taking the yacht's guests out for a dive (remember, all of Jacumba was only 37'). We later found out that this over 400-foot long yacht belongs to Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. Yes, Octopus is in the top 10 of biggest yachts. This little number actually has a music studio, basket ball court, and a submarine. That's just nuts!

That was exhausting just to look at - can you imagine trying to keep that mini-cruise ship shiny all the time?! Bleh - let's head to the big costumed Carnival event downtown. It was kind of nice to enjoy the quiet streets initially.

Then we found our spot. There wasn't a whole lot of shade along the route, so if there were any shadows anywhere, people were sitting in them. How many people can you crowd under a tree? Billboards were fair game too. I was ok with the curb.

We were smart enough to pick the area near the TV crews figuring the troupes would perform there. It also turned out that because we weren't surrounded by buildings or near sound-carrying water, the music didn't deafen us like in the past. We were also incredibly relieved that the trucks didn't play the same songs over and over again, like they did last year and as the other islands tend to do.

Michael was running out in the street like the rest of the TV crew trying to get some action shots, while I took them from a different angle. Nice butt.

So here's the compilation of the event. Note that the theme for this year's festivities was Las Vegas. Yes, as in Nevada...They still had a lot of "clowns" so if you're wondering why there are so many pictures of them, that's why. You'll note that there is a variance in costumes if you look closely. They perform to flute playing and drums (although one musician was actually using a Heineken bottle as his flute - and you couldn't really tell the difference!). There is a story being told with these guys, including whips and a fight with the devil, but you'll have to research it if you're really curious. We give you a taste of the real sounds of the event and then switch to pictures accompanied by a soca mix. The video is a little over 5 minutes long (just click on below slide). Have fun!

Then it was over (well, they passed us anyway). Here's a bunch of folks lining the streets in front of an ancient church waiting their turn.

The streets look a bit different with the crowds, eh?

We enjoyed this Carnival more than last year and look forward to the next one!

Up next - beach time and hiking - in that order.