As I mentioned in my last post, I hadn’t been home for Carnival since college. This was heartbreaking because the fantastic month-long April festivities were one of my favorite things about growing up in the Caribbean. The timing finally worked out of this vacation, and the timing of the reprieves from the rain gave us the chance to hit my three favorite Carnival events – food fair, the village, and the adult parade.
Food fair is a mix of local produce, foods, and crafts.
Basically you steel yourself against beautifully ear-splitting steel pan music (did everyone appreciate that pun??) and eat yourself silly.
Our bite highlights included…
Soursop nectar!!! Soursop – also known as guanabana; the flavor is a super creamy and reminiscent of a blend of strawberry and pineapple – is my favorite fruit and it practically impossible to find fresh in the continental US.
Salt fish patty. <– pronounced like pâté, fried dough stuffed with any type of meat, usually beef, chicken, or cod.
We did not get fried fish or baked mac and cheese and I’m still kind of kicking myself for it.
Village is a giant parking lot that gets transformed with food/drink booths and children’s rides and games.
You can buy snaps there and it is literally the funniest thing on earth to throw them at people’s feet. <– says me, I’m not sure my parents or Adam would agree!
Our nighttimes were busy but we had to stop by in the afternoon because our friends’ vodka was available at one of the booths.
The Carnival parades are just like any parade in the states except they’re a million times better. Troupes decorate floats, wear snazzy costumes, and do insane dance routines down the street. The music is blaring and wonderful and since we don’t have any open container laws there’s always a ton of liquor.
Fun fact #1 – when I was in Pony Club I did the children’s parade twice; one year I rode a horse but the first year I walked behind the horses and scooped poop. <– yes, there are pictures, and no, I will never share them
Fun fact #2 – when I was a junior in high school I was in a troupe in the adult parade. I did not let my absolute lack of rhythm hold me back. We supposed to be some kind of bird (birds of paradise?) and we wore neon green bathing suits and I got second degree burns on the shoulders because I forgot to put sunscreen under my feathers.