New Years in the Tropics: St. Kitts Carnival (SugarMas 48)

Happy New Year Readers!!

Hoping your 2020 is abundant and blessed and all things cheery with whipped cream on top. Now let’s talk about CARNIVAL ON NEW YEARS DAY! What better way to open up 2020 than dancing in the blazing sun, in beautiful carnival costumes, dancing to soca music and drinking rum.

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There are a bunch of things taking place on the island of St. Kitts prior to carnival so let’s get into it,

December 26, Boxing Day.

Love Jouvert? Wanna get STINK AND DUTTY right after Christmas? SIGN ME UP. Jouvert is arguably one of the most attended events during the carnival season in St. Kitts.

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Where I Partied 

What is carnival without the fetes? While in St. Kitts, I was able to attend three fetes.

TOP OFF BRUNCH 

Nestled at the most beautiful venue, Fairview Greathouse, for a whopping price of $44usd (118XCD) drinks and brunch were inclusive. We popped 15 bottles of champagne amongst our friend group so I would say we had quite a grand time. The DJs played soca from every island, dancehall and even gave the lovers a rap a little set. What more could I ask for ?

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SOCA SEAS 

Definitely my favorite event of the week. Tickets were $160XCD with drinks and food already accounted for. Soca Seas pulled off around 5PM, by the time the sun set, and we had our champagne, THE VIBES was unmatched. Whatever they were giving out in the soup must have been satanic juice the way we were behaving lmao.

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DJ Tero played like his life depended on it and when I heard Antiguan soca play, I almost lost my mind! This was a SOLD OUT event so if it’s on your radar for Sugar Mas 49, BUY YOUR TICKET EARLY.

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INCEPTION FETE 

The infamous Inception fete that begins at 9PM and ends at 9AM. We arrived around 1AM. Tickets were $150USD for VIP, a bit high in my opinion but we got tickets at the last minute. I was very impressed with the food options in VIP. As a pescetarian, I find my food options to be SPARSE but they catered for everyone.

That said, bartenders in St. Kitts are HEAVY HANDED. Lol hey basically chase your alcohol WITH alcohol, NOT with juice. With this method, you can get lit VERY quickly. Drinks were in abundance so I was happy. DJ Puffy played really well and was able to engage the crowd, they love dance hall in St.Kitts so it was interesting to see how the crowd brukked out when dance hall came on.

There were also several notable soca artists performing like Problem Child, Skinny Fabulous, Nessa Preppy and Wuss Wayz

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Where I Ate 

Mugsy (Reef Bar and Grill) – Known to serve the best fresh grilled Lobster on the island

Shipwreck – Don’t let the dilapidated decor fool you, the food here is delicious with even friendlier service staff

Sprat Net

Other places we ate –

Rituals (there are two sides to this location, you can get really good breakfast eats, American style and Local or Seafood and fresh sushi on the other side)

Mangoland (Fresh pressed juices, smoothies and wraps await you at this location)

Shiggidy Shack – Looking for a quick bite on the strip, this is an option

Touristy Things I Did 

There is enough down time in-between fetes to get in some tourist activities. We booked an ATV Tour with Spectrum ATV Tours, (60USD) which took us through the winding sugar cane paths, and majestic mountains and unto an old sugar estate ruin. The tour last about 2 hours — the instructors were very knowledgeable and attentive. We were extremely dusty so prepare to get a bit dirty – I am happy I wore long pants.

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Though I didn’t get time to do this, I would also checkout Nevis if I were you, it’s a merry ferry ride away.

Where I brought in the New Year 

Before we hit the road for CARNIVAL! We had to find a flex to countdown 2020! There were several functions taking place ranging from 20usd by the beach if you just wanted to see fireworks to $200usd if you wanted a luxe celebration.

We opted for Carambola Beach Club ,  a luxurious beach spot with all inclusive drinks, food, staff and photographers. The DJs did an excellent job of engaging the crowd. I had a grand time drinking wine and Prosecco all night. After leaving Carambola, we headed to Vibes Beach Bar on the strip and continued our celebrations until 4AM.

MIND YOU! Carnival is a few hours away so it was time for BED lol.

Who I Played Mas With 

I decided to play mas with Majesty Carnival, a smaller band that rebranded for Sugarmas 48 from Solid SKB. The designs were beautiful and amenities and price point on par for the budget. So we registered. The website was beautiful, band launch was virtual so I didn’t have to wait forever to see costume images.

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Majesty Carnival St Kitts 2020
Photography: GVisionSKB

Purchase my Neon Carnival Booties Here 

Band leaders were super helpful and answered emails quickly if we had a question. Some folks in my crew were able to pay off their costumes in full in person during a website glitch. [Another band might have just said well no costume for you].

Costume pickup took a record 7 minutes. I know the band is small but I was surprised we were out of there so quickly and the goodie bag was amazing. There were things in [like edibles] there I didn’t even need but was grateful to have by the end of my trip [like emergen-c and tylenol].

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I had some issues with my bra, I felt it was too big thankfully, a band leader had no issue telling me to stop by so she could tighten my straps for me.

 

Web: BermentPhotography.com | IG: @bermentphotography

Now about the road, if you are into pageantry and costume display, St. Kitts Carnival (Sugar Mas) is for you. There were three judging points [no fault of the band owners] which became bothersome to me because I kept having to put back on my backpack every time I was getting ready to bruk out. Though sections were mingled, band organizers quickly got us into our sections during judging points so that judges could see the costumes in all its glory.

The one thing I was NOT prepared for, was the SUN! St.Kitts’ sun WILL kill you so please stay hydrated. I was happy to see water runners and icies being handed out throughout the band. Once the sun went down, we were able to free up and have a great time.

Now LAST LAP!!!! Last Lap aka what we know as Carnival Monday in Trinidad, has to be my favorite. I learned from the day before and did not come outside until the sun was just about to set. Last Lap starts much later anyway, around 1PM to be exact. So I get to the road around 5PM.. READY to misbehave and well rested.

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Photography: GVisionSKB
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Monday Wear: Carnival Chaser

It was VIBES overload! Music, WATER, drinks, MORE WATER! [I had a flu after so lmao you can tell I had too much fun]. In translation, DO NOT MISS LAST LAP!

Sugar Mas is KITTITIAN SOCA HEAVY!! As it should be, so you better learn the songs. Yes, at the fetes, you will hear everything but on the road, IT’S 869 ALL THE WAY!! 

Here are the popular songs that were played on the road

Talking about music, there are live bands on the trucks as well, so the musical arrangement caters to everyone depending on what you like.

I was the most impressed with the food! We had the option to eat three times, and they had FISH!! I saw some people eating soup, chicken, and other eats. Toward the end of the day, they were giving away food to on-lookers so I can appreciate Majesty Carnival for OVER-catering food.

Once the road was done, we headed home to pack, it was time to get ready for my flight to St. Croix.

Would you check out St. Kitts for Carnival? If you’re considering it for 2021, checkout the “Costume Bands” page for options and planning!

Yours in Mas, 

GC Signature

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Carnival from a masquerader perspective - Where to fete? Band reviews? What to wear? I got you!

5 thoughts on “New Years in the Tropics: St. Kitts Carnival (SugarMas 48)

  1. I’m definitely thinking about attending St. Kitts for 2021!
    How can you not be excited to be on the road drinking rum and listening to the best music ever made from our people, to bring in the new year?!?!?

  2. Definitely the place to be for 2020-21, had an amazing time and even more amazing meeting you. LOVE the blog and look forward to more amazing reviews from you.

  3. Great article.
    I am elated that you enjoyed you time in St Kitts for Sugar Mas. Thanks for coming and sharing with your fans.

  4. Hi. I am looking at Kitts to ring in the new year of 2021 but have a few questions.
    1) Is there Jouvert? If so, what day? Are there paid bands?
    2) What day is mas?
    3) Which bands are considered the Tribe or Yuma of St. Kitts?
    4) What dates do you suggest flying in from and to?

    Thx!

    1. Michael,

      As mentioned, Jouvert is held on Boxing Day (Dec 26). Mas is always January 1 and 2. The Largest band in terms of numbers is Ultra and dates to fly in depends on what you plan to do, if you want to participate in Jouvert.. December 24/25 would be your best bet.

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