Thousands of Caribbean culture lovers converged on South Florida the weekend of Oct. 8 for concerts, pageants, parades, and competitions – and coincidentally, to celebrate being largely spared from the wrath of Hurricane Matthew.
BY THE FLORIDA COURIER STAFF
SOUTH FLORIDA – Schedule changes and travel difficulties caused by the brief presence of Hurricane Matthew the week of the annual Miami Broward One Carnival weekend didn’t stop the festivities.
In Lauderhill, just west of Fort Lauderdale, Central Broward Regional Park was the scene of J’ouvert, a pre-Carnival outdoor party featuring music, mud, paint, powder and water, on Saturday.
On Saturday evening, the costume competition went off without a hitch. Jean-Pierre DeGannes (king), Erica Hosein (queen), Jason Edwards (male individual) and Nicole DeNobriga (female individuals) were all first-place winners in their respective categories.
The costume contest was followed by Panorama, the annual steel drum orchestra competition that featured eight steel bands.
(The steel drums are known as “pans,” and are tuned percussion instruments made from 55-gallon steel drums. The pan is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago, where it was developed.)
In the pan competition, Lauderhill Steel Ensemble defeated last year’s champion, Pantastik Steel Orchestra, with a new group, Melo Grove Steel Orchestra, coming in third. The Newtown Playboys Steel Symphony traveled from Trinidad as guest performers.
On Sunday, the action moved south to the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, where there were arts and craft vendors, a corporate village with exhibitor booths, and an outdoor food court.
More than 17 “mas” (masquerade) bands of more than 15,000 revelers danced and marched behind 18-wheel tractor-trailer trucks with booming sound systems from 11 a.m. until nightfall while competing for honors. The Mas Band of the Year honors went to Big & Strong-One Island, with Generation X coming in second place and Mascots coming in third.
The 2016 Miami Broward One Carnival ended with a concert at the Fairgrounds featuring Alison Hinds, Burning Flames, Rock City and Julien Believe. Stacy Ann Rose, Third World’s Cat Coore, and R. City were the Carnival’s celebrity grand marshals.