On February 24, 2020, my family experienced it’s first and definitely not last Carnival! Or at least the parade part, not the party all night part – we’re old and enjoy sleep.
My biggest fear were crowds, parking, and getting lost. Friends of ours helped get us to the beginning of the parade and we set up camp. We brought sports chairs and beach chairs, umbrellas, and food and drink. Do not miss any of those items. I didn’t tire of standing up, but anyone who knows me, knows I stand up all the time, even during dinner! The family all made use of the chairs in between groups of people. The umbrellas, while obnoxious to carry around, blocked the relentless midday sun. The food and drink are obvious, we snacked all day. Nice juicy fruit and beer were the favorites! Next year, we will add headphones to our items, it was a touch loud at times. We chose the beginning of the parade because while it’s not in the middle or end where things are more than likely a bit crazier, we got to enjoy a more subdued, less crowded show. I don’t know what it would have been like further down, but the people were quite happy to stop and pose with you and for you. I like to think they were not exhausted yet!
I have to admit, I found myself lost in the planning of this event and still do not fully understand everything. There are multiple parades over a few days. There’s the Children’s Parade, the Teen Carnival Parade, the Banda Abou Carnival Parade, etc. There are people and establishments that rent out or have tickets to special booth areas along the parade route and I believe that’s a who you know or right place, right time. So in the midst of my planning to attend this event, I almost caved. It was having a friend who said let’s just go and sit in our own chairs along the route. So my advice is, don’t get bogged down in the planning. Go, bring supplies, and enjoy the music, costumes, and culture. Don’t forget to jump out into the parade now and then and ask for your picture with them. It’s expected.