Move over Mardi Gras, step aside Rio Carnaval, Trinidad boasts to have the greatest pre-Lenten celebration in the world. Over 40,000 visitors and 780,000 locals are getting ready to jump, dance and wave to the beat of pulsating soca rhythms during the Caribbean’s largest and most anticipated cultural mega-festival, Trinidad Carnival.
Known as “The Greatest Show on Earth,” this annual celebration is not just a typical parade where bystanders stand along side the road and watch the masquerade bands go by – they join in, sing, dance and are completely immersed in the festivities.
With the event just a couple of days away, the island is abuzz with final preparations for the big day. Throughout the capital city of Port of Spain, the pulsating rhythms from steel pan bands can be heard from morning till night.
The parade route has been plotted, the tents are up, traffic has been redirected and hotels on the island are at full capacity. The highlight of the festival is the parade of the bands where Carnival revelers dressed in ornately feathered and sequined headdresses and matching brightly colored costumes will take to the streets on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 20 and 21.
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The countdown would not be complete without the Panorama steel pan band competition; Dimanche Gras (Big Sunday), where masquerade designers showcase intricately designed costumes that often weigh between 50 and 200 pounds and reach up to 30 feet high; or J’ouvert (day break), a large street party complete with mud that is the official start to the two-day cultural celebration.
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