Jamaica is climbing it’s way to the top of the list as a Carnival destination and I’m here to tell you why some of this is true and where there is room for improvement.
In our Why You Should Attend Jamaica Carnival post we listed a few must attend events if you were going to be participating in the Carnival festivities. My crew and I had the pleasure of feting at Frenchmen Blocko, SCORCH Duck Work, Caesar’s Army AMBush and Frenchmen Bazodee. Let me just say every single party was well worth the hype.
Blocko is a street party that takes place in a neighborhood, drinks are included so you basically get to show up with just enough pocket change to buy some food at the venue. They had several DJs on the ones and twos and even some Caribbean artists were amongst the crowd fetting. Cost: $40USD
Duck Work was LIVE!! (Two of us end up on stage whining). Folks partied so hard the man-made bridge built over the pool almost fell down. This was a cooler fete so folks were allowed to bring in their drinks and purchase ice and chasers. They didn’t check our bags upon entering but I figure that’s because we didn’t have actual coolers. Cost: $20USD
Caesar’s Army AMBUSH you cannot go wrong with no matter what country it’s in. Machel Montano surprised all feters on the truck. Drinks and breakfast were included in our package. They had the water slides and a rock climbing bouncey house as well. (But you know the romans come ready to impress and party) In my opinion, skip Bacchanal Jouvert and go to Caesar’s Army. Cost: $60-80USD
Bazodee — another Frenchmen Fete reminded me of Beach House in Trinidad. Drinks and food were included. There was a delicious Caribbean spread available to all party goers. The crowd was a bit more mature than I expected but Frenchmen Bazodee is put together by a group of doctors in Jamaica in an upscale neighborhood so the guestlist aligns with that. Cost: $80USD
BACCHANAL JAMAICA BAND & THE ROAD
Now for Carnival Sunday. Picking up our costumes was a bit of a headache. Most carnivals have a bunch of bands to choose from, and usually they coordinate everything whether or not they have private sections. Not in Jamaica. Each section acts as it’s own entity and has different pickup locations, different tents, different wristbands, different goodie bags and different perks for their masqueraders.
My friends and I all chose different costumes because we assumed as it was one large band and there was no stage to cross, it wouldn’t be much of an issue and it wasn’t except the level of customer service from each section was not the same across the board.
The road was long! By the time we were done with lunch and I spent another hour or so chipping, I was exhausted. We were told after, that most masqueraders stop at Big Wall rather than completing the whole route because of how it long it is, and we should have listened. In all, despite the brutal heat, we had a time. I love carnival no matter where, as long as I have my music, my friends and dem and my booze, ah good!
Boots by: Bacchanal Footwear
Makeup by: Kendra
Do you think you’ll go to Jamaica Carnival next year? Surely, you should go check it out for yourself. And if you were there this year, let me know in the comments below!
Yours in Mas,