Carnival Chaser (n): An individual that goes on mostly carnival-based vacations, and plans trip after trip based on when the next carnival is.
A newly coined term, carnival chasers have been hitting carnival after carnival for years but this trend is now becoming the norm. No longer are we looking forward to random dream destination trips in Mexico, but rather, trips are booked on the need to play mas. Promoters too have fed the craze by hosting their events at more than one carnival through-out the year. Carnival is addictive. And so I present to you, the “Carnival Chaser” series. Let’s meet Carnival Chaser @_StacyChantal
What is it about carnival that keeps you chasing?
EVERYTHING! I frequently like to say that carnival is a Way of Life. From the glorious splendor of the costumes, the vibrant energy of the people all around you, the freedom and liberation that forms part of the celebration, to the soca music that runs through your veins and takes over your soul. Carnival is a beautiful thing to witness and even greater to experience. For me, I wait in anticipation for the soca artists to release their hits for the upcoming year, familiarizing myself as much as possible before touching down in Trinidad & Tobago. Once Trinidad comes and passes, the Tabanca kicks in and I am already planning the next carnival. I try my best to experience two new carnivals each year, both locally in the United States and globally, whether it’s my home carnival in Jamaica, Cropover in Barbados, Spice Mas in Grenada, Nottinghill Carnival in London, St. Lucia, Bermuda, St. Vincent, or Hollywood… I am chasing carnivals all year-long!
Which carnival is a must attend for you?
Trinidad Carnival. For the past two years I’ve had the opportunity to attend Trinidad carnival and I must say it is one hell of an experience! We all know that Trinidad is the Mecca of all island carnivals, and the biggest of any given year. It is the perfect way to set the tone for the remainder of the year.
Hearing all my favorite songs this 2018 season blasting through speakers, endless pumping straight off the jumbo jet, fete after fete after fete, unlimited alcohol flowing at a cooler fete or an all-inclusive breakfast party, the expression and creativeness that masqueraders bring to their custom designed Monday Wear pieces for Monday Mas, and to top it all off the masqueraders chipping down the road in their gorgeous feather pieces and beaded costumes on Carnival Tuesday, Trinidad Carnival in my opinion is undefeated. Although it is probably the most expensive carnival to attend, I truly believe it is worth every penny spent. I’m already planning for 2019!
What do you look for when choosing a band?
When choosing a band I usually look for the all-inclusive experience. My preference is to go with a band that is well-known, drinks inclusive, meals provided, and a cool down area. Of course like many, cost matters. The price most certainly has to be right. As a lover of big feathered back pieces and intricate details, I usually shoot for the frontline costume of whatever band I am playing with. I absolutely adore the moment I get to put my beautifully feathered costume on and feel like the carnival queen I am on the road. When choosing a band I often compare frontline costumes and narrow down my choices to three. I also read reviews from past masqueraders and carnival blogs such as Global Carnivalist to get a sense of what others have experienced. I then make my decision, register, collect my costume and palance all day long down de road.
Do you have any tips for people looking to attend carnivals?
My advice to anyone looking to attend carnival is to plan months in advance. Set a budget of how much you anticipate to spend, do your research on which carnival caters to the experience you are looking for, as well as read reviews on blogs, websites and Facebook. For first time goers, I would recommend using a carnival concierge to help facilitate the planning process for accommodations, flights, fete tickets, costumes. It may feel a bit daunting trying to organize everything yourself, especially if the resources aren’t readily available to you. Once there, leave all your worries at home! Carnival is about freedom, liberation, meeting new people, reacquainting with old friends and most importantly, having FUN!
Yours in Mas,