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how long should I got for carnival

pennsylvania
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how long should I got for carnival

I am thinking of going to carnival 2011

I was thinking of staying at the crown plaza.

now I hear there are cheaper and nicer places.

where would you suggest.

I hear that after carnival POS is is pretty deserted and I should head to either tobago or barbados

so

1. how long should I stay in trinidad to really experience carnival ?

2. where should I stay ?

3. where should I go after carnival ?

Brandon, Florida
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1. Re: how long should I got for carnival

The actual Carnival street parades are only on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. However prior to those days there are two major competitions: The King and Queen of the Bands, and the Panorama Steelband finals. Also prior to the parades there are several parties that you can attend.

Accommodation goes very quickly. In fact if you haven't booked already you may be out of luck for next year.

Tobago is a good place for after Carnival but many others will be doing the same.

Lansdowne...
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2. Re: how long should I got for carnival

my personal suggestion would be to get there a full week prior to carnival monday & tuesday - the lead-up to carnival is a time with many shows & parties (fetes) goin on, it's a huge, fun, festive atmosphere leading up to the 'big day'. it's also a good way to get a feel for the place, find out where things will be happening, figure out your bearings, etc., take in some fetes, visit some of the 'calypso tents', etc. there's just a huge amount of fun activity swirling around during that time and it is WAY FUN!!!!

If you have any interest in steel band (aka 'pan') music, you will NOT want to miss the Panorama Finals competition which is usually held the Saturday night before Carnival Mon/Tues. if you arrive during that week prior to the competition, you can also visit the various "pan yards' & attend practice sessions where u can really get to hear the incredible music up close and personal. (i know i am biased - for me this is the Highlight of carnival and pretty much the entire reason i go -- so to be missed!!!)

the next night after the Panorama finals, (Sunday night leading into carnival monday) is another fabulous event called the "J'ouvert" - a night-time parade that starts at about 3 AM and goes til dawn,winding through the streets with steel bands playing, everyone dancing and carrying on, LOL. also has 'old mas' - not the modern pretty feathers and sequins costumes, but old-fashioned costumes, lots of witty political & social commentary-themes, and also lots of paint, mud, and oil. it's a huge fun wild mess accompanied by awesome pan music, and is the tradtional "lead in" to the official start of carnival Monday.

finally - IMHO you should stay until Sunday following carnival Tuesday - because on that Saturday is a concert showcasing all the winners of all the different Carnival competitions - the steel bands, king & queen of the mas, the winning mas band, the calypso, extempo, chutney & soca monarchs, and kiddies carnival & calypso winners. it's a wonderful show with all the different genres on one stage, and a great "tie up" to all the carnival activities. they used to call it "Champs in Concert" - this year it had a different name (dang if i can remember what it was though) -- in any case the first time i went to carnival i left too soon and missed this show and vowed i would never do that again!

so all in all that would be about two weeks total. If you are able to take that much time, it would be absolutely SO WORTH IT to really experience everything carnival has to offer. the official dates are posted well in advance, you can search online for the exact dates for next year and plan around them

have a wonderful time~!

3. Re: how long should I got for carnival

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