The Caribana parade is over and I had a great time playing mas for the second year in a row, BUT the Stormers have got to go! I am no carnival expert, but based on the conversation with previous masqueraders this year, Stormers in the Caribana parade has been a problem for years. The main reason is more than likely the lack of knowledge of the whole purpose of playing mas.
Masqueraders pay money to play mas and should be respected & protected. Having played in Trinidad, I know Stormers are common. The biggest difference I’ve seen is their respect for the bands when crossing the stage. Carnival, in general, is a fun event but it is also a COMPETITION. Jumping in the band without paying is also a safety hazard. Mas bands hire a certain number of people for security to accommodate the safety of people that paid to go down the parade route. Despite the Stormer invasion, I tried my best to enjoy the day based on my understanding of the carnival culture. Below are some pics on the road with Carnival Nationz.
Initially, CaribVibeTV posted a “no band of the year” photo on Instagram for Caribana. This decision was apparently due to the lack of all bands crossing the second stage and massive amount of Stormers jumping in the band along the Caribana parade route. A few days later, it was announced that Carnival Nationz won the Band of The Year title. Stormers were my biggest pet peeve last year. Although Caribana is a more cost-effective alternative to Trinidad Carnival, I’m not sure if I will play again.