Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sat 25 Jul 2009 22:43
Troy our outboard engineer told us of a night out called 'Tribe'. Basically it is the night where the top fifteen or so costumes for the next carnival are showcased. People can choose one they fancy and join the tribe on the day of carnival and shimmy round the circuit. Troy picked us up at 23:00, drove us the fifteen minutes to Pier One and saw us safely inside before going to meet up with some business acquaintances, joining us later on. The men on entry were swiped for weapons, everyone was in good spirit - drinks were free all night. Very different to the UK where no alcohol is often the policy.
The entrance, men went to the left. One of the water features.
The drinks tents were down both sides of the arena. One of the Digicel dancers and the troupe.
Of course Bear went for a closer look ONLY to get a flashing necklace giveaway. Meantime a disco was blaring out on main stage
I spotted this policeman having a quiet jiggle, handcuffs flashing in the lights. Then at one am the show proper began, as the first costume came out amid a shower of feathers, the crowd roared.
Basically the first of a group shows the 'Full Monty' and the following wear less and less. If you see something you like you can order it to wear on the carnival day. Becoming one of the tribe. The largest number there has been is just over three thousand. Awesome just thinking about it - that many people dressed alike. The main outfit may cost £300, the others £100 down to about £30.
The outfits are just as spectacular from the back as the front. Boys outfits getting showcased. All sorts of materials are used for dazzling effect, main material this year is silk, of course with many feathers.
Perhaps a little too keen with the smoke jet?
Our particular favourite it's the colour you know - nothing else, "yes dear, put your eyes away before they fall on the floor and stop dribbling"
Then everyone came on stage.
The finale was several rap artists then a huge firework display with billions of little bits of foil paper
Net result - A Tribe on carnival day
We left at four am, not really feeling how late or early it was because it was such a special experience. Despite the free alcohol no-one trod on our toes, pushed or shoved, spilt drink over us, parted to let us through and was an extremely good and enthusiastic crowd. We saw no trouble and at no time felt uncomfortable. Trinidad can get bad press but we have found the people charming.
ALL IN ALL A WONDERFUL EVENING