KINGSTOWN – Two Saturdays ago, hundreds of Vincentians took to the streets for the launch of their biggest annual festival, Vincy Mas’.
There were carnival celebrations throughout St. Vincent and the launch climaxed with a street parade here that blossomed with colorful costumes, as revellers got into the swing of things to the hot hot rhythms of calypso and soca .
That, of course, was just the launch – a foretaste, if you like, of the big event.Vincey Mas’ will be held this year June 29-July 11 and there is a lot in store for mas’ aficionados.
Here is the 2018 line up of the major events.
Miss St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Miss SVG) Pageant always creates a great deal of excitement. Contestants are selected from throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines and compete at Carnival City (Victoria Park) in four main categories: Swimwear, talent, evening wear and interview. This year’s show takes place on June 2 and Miss SVG will “reign” throughout the carnival season and will hold the title until next year’s pageant.
Throughout the month of June, several calypso tent shows provide the forum for selecting calypsonians for the national semifinals as well as the Soca Monarch semifinals. At the tents you can catch up on the latest local hit tunes.
Steel and Glitter brings out the music aficionados. At this event the best steel orchestras in the country attempt to outdo one other in a “musical crescendo” as the mas’ bands provide the glitter with their colourful costumes.
At the Junior Carnival, Junior Panorama and Junior Calypso/Soca Monarch Shows, children display their wide range of talents at the variouys events in mas’ playing, steel band music and calypso and Soca .
On Sunday July 8, an important date on the Vincy Mas’ calendar, the Dimache Gras show will be held. Mas’ players from the various carnival bands will compete for the coveted title of King and Queen of the bands. and the national calypso King/Queen competition will be held.
After Dimache Gras, revellers gets ready for the J’ourvet celebration with its comical mas’ depictions of current issues, and early morning “jump-up.” Look out for persons covered in paint and dressed in night gowns and other unusual street attire.
After a few hours rest, revellers head to the streets again for the Monday afternoon T-shirted Street Party showcasing many carnival bands ready for ” fun and frolic.”
Carnival Tuesday showcases a massive outpouring of costumed bands with thousands of masqueraders in all their splendor and magnificence. These mas’ bands encompass the artistry and fantastic presentations of designers and ennoble the Vincentian Carnival culture. The bands compete for supremacy and the Vincy Mas’ premiere prize – the Band of the Year.
Ricardo Adams, Chairman of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Carnival Development Corporation , noted that as far as costumes are concerned, Vincy Mas’ ” runs the gamut.
“We have traditional mas’ costumes as well as ultra-modern costumes.
“So we appeal to the tastes of all masqueraders.”
Adams said he is hoping that St. Vincent and the Grenadines will ” turn the corner” in accessing the Canadian tourist market, now that we have direct Toronto-St.Vincent flights.”
Canadian visitors can fly to St.Vincent and the Grenadines this summer via direct Sunwing charter flights operated by GG Tours.Caribbean Airlines also offers connections via Trinidad and Tobago.
For those planning to travel later in the year, Air Canada Rouge starts weekly direct flights to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on November 1st.
For more information, contact the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Office in Toronto at 416 630 9292 or email svgta.ca@discoversvg