This was my first ever Carnival Road March (scratched record? comment if you’ve seen this already) and I had decided to go with Bacchanal Jamaica, there were a bit of ups and downs but I’m glad I made that choice. The road march with Bacchanal Jamaica had me in euphoria. I loved being in costume surrounded by the different colours, it truly gave me life, getting on bad as a reveller. The Dj’s, the energy from the patrons (and the drinks) were great. Soca did give me my powers because the route was so long… but I made it mostly intact, here’s my journey.
I registered via the Bacchanal Jamaica website. It was pretty simple, you made an account, added your costume of choice to the cart, then made your first deposit or paid in full. Online registration came with a small service charge, and for each payment you made, you’re emailed an invoice. This was going smoothly, as I paid by instalments, until the final payment. For some reason the system had split the final payment in two, so that was a little confusing.
As this was my first time jumping I was a bit anxious, I wanted to make sure everything would go well. I felt like the best way to get information from Bacchanal Jamaica was to give them a call, based on what I had observed. Though, if you had any error, they would’ve responded to the email promptly. It was when I had asked a trivial question (in my opinion) that I did not get an answer. Maybe the email slipped through the cracks and wasn’t seen, I don’t know.
The costume pickup went well for me, it was very quick and the staff members were nice. I went after work on the designated day for the Pixie Dust costume, I got to the Mas Camp about 6:15 pm. I went in, showed my receipt and was offered a cold fruit juice, then had a seat (p.s. the place was empty.) I didn’t have to wait long before a staff member came, took my receipt then shortly after, she called me inside the building to collect the costume. She showed me all the pieces of the costume and checked them off on my receipt, which I signed. Then I was given my armbands for the road and I was free to go.
However, my friend, Autumne, who I was jumping in the parade with, did not have the same experience. When she went to collect her costume, she was told her feather backpack was not ready, and she was to return on another day. So she was forced to leave with her incomplete costume. Her situation was to get worse as she went on the day before the march to collect the backpack and was told it could not be found. They had a feather collar on hand which they offered as a replacement but it seemed to be in a sub-par condition so she unhappily refused. She’s to be refunded for the feather backpack (or lack of it). That ruined her first-time experience though, carnival day was her birthday and she felt incomplete… the feathers are like a tiara to a princess, the finishing touch.
Okay, the costume fit me properly. It was beautiful and it looked even better in person than in the photographs. But some of the gems and fixtures on my costume were falling off. The night before the road march, Autumne and I used our handy dandy hot-glue gun skills to reattach the gems that had fallen off both our costumes. I will say this again, this was my first road march so maybe this is the first time for the mishap. Glue fails? Things happen? But I was displeased that after I spent $445 USD I had to be fixing things.
On The Road
The road march was amazing. We had the Seaview All-Star Band leading the parade, performances from the Caribbean Airlines Invaders Steel Orchestra as well as Kes. We were not short of drinks nor good Dj’s, and I must commend the Fame FM truck and the Smirnoff truck because their mixing was great the entire day (we couldn’t stray far). I enjoyed ‘crossing the stage’ where we got in our costume sections to be judged, i.e. proving our section had a lot of energy. Another favourite moment for me was going through Half Way Tree, where the vibes seemed to have sky-rocketed.
The rest stop area was decent, I couldn’t complain. The space was big enough for everyone to fit comfortably, the bar and lunch tents were organised and easy to access. The food was okay but I didn’t come for a five-star meal.
At the final fete/dinner stop, Kes the band performed again, doing so with a good amount of songs too. The day ended on a great note, Kes started voicing his 2017 songs, but moved into older (but goodie) ones. The crowd went wild when “Big ting! Small ting! I wining up on all ting” resonated across the field. I truly enjoyed my first carnival, I wish I could describe the feeling of pure bliss that came with looking and feeling amazing while music a play and waist a respond, all day long.
You can check my Carnival Checklist to see where I got my carnival supplies in Jamaica. The featured image was from Team DWP Studios.
See you on di road, April 8th 2018.