I am sure feelings toward 2022 are mixed but one thing for sure, hella carnivals came back this year. Let’s recap
They say how you start can determine how you finish but that is untrue in this context. I opened my New Year in Jamaica, still under curfew with limited “public” party options yet spent most of 2022 at carnivals, so yay?!
By mid January, it was still unknown if carnivals would occur, I mean we were now dealing with the Omicron variant (remember that?). The Omarion was impacting travel again.
The start of February left us feeling unmoved. There was no Trinidad or Haiti Carnival, a baby formula shortage and Russia decided to invade Ukraine.
At the last minute my friend and I decided to go to New Orleans, Louisiana for Mardi Gras. I’m happy we went. It was a different type of experience. (I love our Caribbean carnivals more though)
March & April
March was chaotic AF.
- U.S. oil prices rose above $110 a barrel for the first time since 2011 as the war in Ukraine started to scramble the world’s oil flow
- Will Smith smacked Chris Rock at the Oscars
- and just about every summer carnival announced its return for 2022. It was time to open your wallet (amidst an economic meltdown mind you)
On April 18, 2022, the airlines dropped the mask mandate. The world was really opening up. Jamaica and Grenada’s Carnivals were fully pressing ahead.
Bahamas Carnival announced their plans, like 5 days prior. It was truly a local affair
By month’s end most New Yorkers were either wining downtown for Atlanta’s Carnival festivities (hopefully you weren’t at the cancelled carnival) or brunching and boatin’ in Miami for Memorial Weekend.
Despite the chaos that was the world, summer came.
Air travel was a mess; delays, cancelled flights, lost baggage, shoot outs in airports, swapped babies; I mean you name it, it was happening at the airport.
While the summer fetes were popping, flight prices continued to be outrageous. If you were heading to Grenada or St.Lucia for Carnival, flight prices were upwards of 3 thousand United States Dollars. The airlines were out of their metal minds.
Some of us got to bask in Bermuda’s Carnival 2022 return. I’m happy I got to wear my Sasha Fierce costume. It is by far one of my favorites for 2022.
While some were happily addicted to Melick & Boogy Rankss’ ‘Take Bamboo’, the U.S high court overturned Roe V. Wade. Umm WTF?!
July 2022 was unique. It was my birthday month and I had two carnivals to attend.
St. Vincent kicked off the July carnivals. Fireman was crowned Power Soca Monarch for his hit “Bad Demon.”
Typically, Jamaica’s Carnival occurs in April but because of the pandemic, Jamaica’s carnival was rescheduled for July 10, 2022. Yayoi was one of the most revered costumes of 2019 band launches, I was going to be in it.
While Bacchanal Jamaica and Xodus were working through event prep and costume pickup, a Xaymaca director stepped down.
Champagne in hand at my favorite beach event Sunkissed, my birthday weekend was vibesy!
It was time to pop over to St. Lucia for Carnival. Carnival Tuesday was fun, HOT and fun again when we got some misty rain. The route changes sucked though, despite it being months now, still sours the experience for me.
Many also enjoyed Toronto’s Carnival (previously known as Caribana). While the stormers were still a major issue for their carnival, it was good to see Toronto lit up with West Indian waistlines again
Kadooment Day in Barbados and Carnival Monday in Antigua both occur the first Monday of August.
This year I was in Antigua for their cultural explosion and pageantry. I had a ball. I loved my costume, my crew, and the way DJs played. Such a blissful experience, I can feel myself transporting back to that day.
Spicemas was a success and Trinidad celebrated their 60th year of Independence. The pageantry, street shows and events were as euphoric as Carnival. I can only imagine what February 2023 will feel like.
New York experienced a monumental carnival experience in Brooklyn with the return of ‘Labor Day on the Parkway’
By summer’s end most carnivals were able to host their festivals; Cayman Islands, St. Maarten, and Montreal Carifiesta were amongst the many that had a carnival experience in 2022.
Miami Carnival got rained out but spirits remained high for the day.
Tobago also hosted a carnival experience in October.
November & December
Burna Boy headlined World Creole Music Festival in Dominica (with mixed reviews from fans)
Bacchanal Jamaica and Xodus announced their future partnership and joint band launch while new band on the block GenXS announced their band launch date for Jamaica Carnival 2023.
Most carnivals have announced their dates for 2023. Stay in the know via our Carnival Calendar. It’s being compiled now
While much has changed, much has stayed the same. Colorism in carnival, production issues, bad-mind, increasing prices and life. Cheers to you making it through 2022.