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Thursday, 10 October 2013

miami_carnival_11.jpgMIAMI GARDENS — Wake up early Saturday morning to fete with more than 20 bands at J’Ouvert. Starting at 7 a.m., J’Ouvert is the not-so-pretty side of carnival but just as much fun, said Christine Sankar, one of the masquerade band leaders of Mascots International.

“It started last year with seven bands and it has grown to 21 bands,” Sankar said. “Everybody jumped on the bandwagon.”

J’Ouvert is a contraction of the French jour ouvert, which means dawn/day break.

Sankar will give her band members a T-shirt and a cup to participate in J’Ouvert. The members will rub cocoa and oil on their skins and clothes to show a “dirty” costume.

Carnival continues Sunday, Oct. 13 at Sun Life Stadium where more than 20 bands will participate this year and an estimated 25,000 people are expected to attend.

The colorful and energetic party launches at noon at Sun Life Stadium, 2267 N.W. 199th St. in Miami Gardens. For about eight to 10 hours bands will follow a two-mile parade route inside the stadium and compete for Band of the Year bragging rights.

The costumes are being judged on visual impact, creativity, authenticity, clarity of theme, best use of color and presentation. This year’s costumes will showcase a riotous blend of colors, pageantry and fantasy.

Mascots International has 685 members. The band has been a part of the Miami Carnival since 1996. The family band didn’t place in last year’s band competition, but Sankar doesn’t mind.

“That is not what is important,” Sankar said, regarding placing high or winning the masquerade band competition. “It is about giving the masqueraders the best Mascots experience. It is to show our culture as Trinidadians and West Indians.”

Carnival was introduced to Trinidad by French settlers in 1783, a time of slavery. Banned from the masquerade balls, the slaves would stage their own using their own rituals and folklore, sometimes imitating and sometimes mocking their masters’ behavior at the masquerade balls.

Following the parade, a concert will take place, featuring the 2013 Soca Monarch & Road March King Superblue and some of Soca and Chutney heavyweight singers and bands.

Performers include: Raymond Ramnarine, Sir Oungku, Ravi B, Shal Marshall, Nutron, Supa Jigga, TC, Yankee Boy, Chucky, Nisha B and Kimmy, all backed up by Red Hot Flames, Dil-E-Nadan and Karma.

Concert hosted by Giselle D Wassi One and Mc Wassy. In-house music powered by DJ Spice and Team Soca.

Families will enjoy Caribbean food, drinks, arts and craft @Caribbean Village and a kid zone at the event. Gates open at 11 a.m. Admission is $22 in dvance and more at the gate. VIP tickets: $100 online, more at the gate. Children under 12 are free.

Signature Miami Carnival Events:

Friday, Oct. 11, King and Queen and Panorama, Carnival Village, Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 N.W. 11th Pl., Lauderhill, 5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. Performances by Lauderhill Steel Ensemble, Miami Pan Symphony, New Generation Branches, Pantastic Steel , Resurrection Steel and Silver Stars USA. Admission $12 in advance, more at the park.

Saturday, Oct. 12, J’Ouvert, Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 N.W. 11th Pl, Lauderhill, 7 a.m. Featuring Steel Band and DJ Music, Body Paint, Mud, Water, Powder. More than 20 masquerade bands participating. Admission $12 in advance, more at the park.

Steelband Panorama, Carnival Village, Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 N.W. 11th Pl, Lauderhill, date to be announced.
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