The Caribbean is a world-renowned party destination. First let’s look at the options. Trinidad is long considered THE party island. Trinis are party animals. They party everywhere and pretty much all the time. It’s the island that created the Steel Pan, Calypso and Soca; the home of the mighty Sparrow, Lord Kitchener and David Rudder.
Trinidad is also home of the Trinidad Carnival, two weeks of fete on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It is highly regarded as “The Greatest Show on Earth”. The Island goes into “hold strain mode”, weeks before the grand final. Everyone is getting ready for the bands to start playing in the street and wonder which tune will win the Carnival prize for the best song, who will win the best singer and who will be the Carnival King or Queen. They spend their days fixing their costumes and practicing partying with a few rums with friends, whenever the occasion arises.
Barbados has its own carnival called Cropover. Bands move through the streets ending up at Spring Garden which is transformed into a street of dance and floats, lined with Banks Beer stalls, rum shops and Caribbean food like roti, patties and souse.
Barbados Cropover dates back to the 1780’s, when Barbados was the world’s largest producer of sugar. Each year the Island celebrated end of another successful sugar cane harvest with the Crop Over celebration. The festival gradually faded out as the Sugar Can industry declined, however, it was revived in 1974 and enriched with elements of Barbadian culture making it more of an extravaganza and an event that attracts thousands of people from across the globe. The Barbados Crop Over Festival is also celebrated internationally in cities like Toronto where there is a large Bajan population.
Cuba was the hot spot a decade or more ago as seen in the movie “The Bona Vista Social Club”. Its specialty is a blend of jazz, Latin and African music. Night life there is rebounding now follow the great success of the movie and a gradual liberation of tourism and free enterprise.
Then there is Jamaica with Bob Marley and the Whalers taking reggae to the world, influencing sting, Eric Clapton and a host of today’s top performers my buddies the Hopping Penguines of Halifax (who incidentally had a new band, the Police (Sting), open for them at the horse shoe in Toronto.
St. Lucia too celebrates in much the same fashion. Carnival is a time to let your hair down and jump for joy, all over the Caribbean.
A favourite Caribbean party island is Barbados. It’s the featured destination of party-destinations.com at our launch. Other party places in Greece, Spain, New Orleans and Germany will be featured in the coming months.
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