Big Truck. Check. Costumes. Check. Stamina?
It’s that time of year again when the hottest bands on the Caribbean Carnival circuit crisscross South Florida for the last big party before the pre-Lent festival season kicks off again — Miami Broward One Carnival.
Taking place this Columbus Day weekend, the party kicks off Thursday, Oct. 4 with the Queen of soca music, Alison Hinds, in her only appearance during the party weekend, and ends Monday, Oct. 8.
"My fans can expect a very high energy performance which will include fan favorite songs like, "Roll It Gal," "Faluma" and "Togetherness," said the Barbados-born Hinds, as she boarded a flight for Miami. "My music will have everyone winding for sure"
In between, there are live performances, all-night, late-night parties and of course the ultimate road march on Carnival Sunday (Oct. 7) when a kaleidoscope of colorful costumed bands wind inside the perimeter of Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.
“It is the best,” said Darryl DLife, a deejay on New York’s Hot97, Miami’s Mixx 96.1FM and Cirus XM Satellite Radio. “The atmosphere, the beautiful women, the palm trees; Miami is the closest thing to the Caribbean.”
DLife has been performing during the Miami carnival circuit for the past 12 years. That’s about the time a group of promoters, Trini South Boyz, came up with Socavivor — a carnival within a carnival, the cadre of fetes are called “eventures” and usually feature the hottest musical acts each carnival season.
For those who miss Hinds and her female empowerment anthems during Thursday’s “Girl Power” show, there will be plenty others to catch, especially on Sunday when the show kicks off at 10 a.m. inside Sun Life Stadium. In additon to the Mas Bands and pulsating steel drums, soca and calypso performers include the legendary Byron Lee’s Dragonaires, Patrice Roberts, Farmer Nappy, Claudette Peters,Omadath Maharaj and the King of Soca Machel Montano.
“Excitement surrounding his performance grows by the minute,” Vanessa James, a spokeswoman for Miami Broward One Carnival, said of Montano, the most recognizable artist in soca music. This will be his first performance on the stage since Miami and Broward carnival organizers decided four years ago to stop holding competing events and come together.
In addition to Machel, carnival goers will also be treated to a clash of internationally known deejays. This year’s carnival also will pay tribute to the 50th Anniversary of Independence for Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.
Recognizing there were organizing issues last year that for instance prevented Hinds from performing on Carnival Sunday, James said carnival organizers are improving this year’s stage management. Also with rains leading to lower than expected turnout on Carnival Sunday, organizers are hoping for a much lager turnout, she added.
“We are anticipating and preparing for 50,000 patrons in the park on Sunday,” James said.
Tickets can be purchased at www.MiamiBrowardCarnival.com. Tickets for the combined concert, stage show and cultural clash are on sale now for $20. Groups can also take advantage of a discount with the online only Buy-4-Get-1-Free group rate. All-inclusive tickets are available online $100 and will be more at the door. Children under 12 are free. For more information call 954-806-8396 or 954-303-2918.
Photo: Carl Juste/Miami Herald