Yooo! The JA tabanca is real my yute! As much as it pains me to share my experiences with you, I must. I will refrain from being a selfish bacchanalist and pass on the great news about carnival in Jamaica. When I told people I was going to Jamaica Carnival most of them turned their noses up and said “Why? What does Jamaica even know about carnival and soca?” Well, those reactions were exactly my motivation for going. I wanted to experience this low key carnival for myself and come back with a few new dancehall moves. People think JA carnival is new but it’s been around for plenty years. Just like other small carnivals, it’s just now picking up speed – YUH WAHHNT SPEED!
So let’s talk about fetes. For 2016 Bacchanal JA the most I paid for an all inclusive fete is $85 and both of them were fabulous! The rest of the fetes I attended were around $40 each. The girls and I kept our schedule fairly light and didn’t do any overlapping of fetes. We wanted to enjoy every second of each fete and not wear out our bodies or our pockets. That’s just us though; there were more than enough fetes to choose from if you’re about that hardcore fete life. Cooler fetes, boat rides, breakfast fetes…you name it. JA had it and I’m sure more are on the way.
Bacchanal on De Road
The girls and I taking an “ussie” with Voice on the road – Cheers to Life!
Jamaica Road March had only one band. That’s right people, ONE band with multiple sections and it was bess! Depending on your preferences, this may be a plus or a downfall, but I absolutely loved it. Whenever there is intimacy, ample space to wukkup, convenience and vibes I’m in bacchanal bliss!
Mid-route, mother nature decided to throw some torrential downpours our way, but that didn’t stop we! In addition to the rain, there was a great deal of young downtown stormers that joined us in the band as well. It got quite crazy and heavily RAM for a time. In fact, I almost threw my deuces up prematurely out of mild frustration; but, I stayed in there for YOU. That’s right, I did it for my readers. If I left early I wouldn’t be able to give you a quality road march recap. LOL!
I must say, during the crazy hype moments we were quite concerned about how the end of the road march was looking. So much so that the crew and I had put alternative measures into place; we decided that if the stormers bumrushed the stadium, we would high tail it home and forego our dinner. But there is a God! As we approached the stadium the stormers peacefully went into their designated section and we masqueraders continued on and made our way through separate security checks before being let into the stadium. It was seamless! I am still impressed by what took place. Shout out to the Bacchanal Jamaica Road Marshall’s and Extraction Team for keeping us safe as we played mas! Not only were we able to vibe for an extended period of time inside the stadium, but we were able to eat in peace! Sigh, that escoviche fish and rice was everything to me after the road #HappyTummyMemories.
If you’re wondering, I played with Peeny Wallie Mas and I have zero regrets about my decision. I’ve had my eye on this section for a year and when I read their customer reviews from Bacchanal Jamaica 2015 I knew they were the band for me. When I went to pick up my costume one of the owners said “You know, I think you were one of the first people to register!” That’s right bay-bee! I don’t stick when I’m focused!
Every piece of my costume was made with love; the personalized goodie bag was thoughtfully orchestrated and the service from Erica and Davi was remarkable. These ladies were on point from the band launch straight through carnival Sunday (and beyond.) Their pick up process was separate from the other sections and I cannot stress how grateful I was for that. We were in and out of the Peeny Wallie mas camp in 10 minutes for not one, but two costume pick ups. These ladies even provided sweet treats and refreshments for their masqueraders during pick up – (those rum cake balls though!) Who does that?! Contrastingly enough, we were at the general Bacchanal Jamaica mas camp for a good 2+ hours right before, waiting on a single t-shirt package. But we not ‘gon talk ‘bout dat though (insert side eye.) I can go on and on about the Peeny Wallie team but I won’t put you through that. All you need to know is if you want consistency, quality, professionalism and organization, choose Peeny Wallie!
Team Peeny Wallie (in back) with happy clients!
Location – Location – Location
Brethren… Don’t sleep on Kingston! It’s lively and one of a kind. I couldn’t keep my head from turning as I sat giddily in the back of our driver’s car. People had no behavior behind the wheel, pedestrians were doing their own t’ing, one man dollar stores were roaming the roads trying to make a sell. Oh, and lets not forget the donut hustlers! My eyes couldn’t keep still and I wouldn’t change a thing. I absolutely loved our location; it was in close proximity to all the must-see landmarks, like the Bob Marley Museum and Devon House headquarters. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people are turned off from Kingston due to the violent stigma attached to it. Sure, their crime rate is a bit on the high side, but as I often say, violence is everywhere. You can’t let it deter you from living your life and experiencing new things. Just be cautious, choose your company wisely and make sensible decisions.
Our Dunn’s River Completion Photo!
Due to the flexibility in our schedule, the crew and I were able to take a couple of JA road trips during our “downtime”. We took a rather interesting ride over to Hellshire Beach where we received not-so-good service but were served thee BEST tasting fried fish and festival EVERRR! They better be lucky that meal was of excellent quality lol. A couple days later we took a breathtaking two-hour drive up to Ocho Rios to climb Dunn’s River Falls. I need that climb in my life again, and next time I’m taking my camera with me! Other than that I got to take a picture with my birthday twin Bob Marley at his famous museum and I had the opportunity to eat some delicious Devon House ice cream and Juici Patties. Whaaaa, I need more of this! Needless to say, Jamaica will definitely see me again. It’s a huge island with much to take in and I look forward to my next trip.
P.s. I think I’m ready for Dream Weekend 2017.
Thanks for reading! If this piece tickled you in any way please comment and share! Got questions for your future Bacchanal JA trip? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you! Serious inquiries only lol!
Check out the accompanying video below!