Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival
The Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival is fun for the entire Family! The Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival draws visitors from throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival Committee, a not-for-profit 501.c3 corporation, which promotes the culture, music, and community of the Caribbean Islands, produces the Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival. As proud members of the International Caribbean Carnival Association, our vision is to bring together Florida’s multi ethnic diversity to experience the unique cultural tradition called Carnival. The Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival, a refinement of the traditional West Indian style Carnival presentation, is a spectacle of pageantry, color, and fantasy depicted through a kaleidoscope of incredible costumes, steel bands, calypso, soca, and reggae music.
A Caribbean experience like no other, come enjoy the sights, sounds, culture, and food of the Islands. Fun for the Entire Family! Crafts, Food, Music, Soca, Calypso, Reggae, Moco Jumbies, Local and International Entertainment!!!
The objects of the Association shall be to promote, foster, and encourage all aspect of cultural and social life of Trinidad and Tobago, and to disseminate information and build awareness in this country of Trinidad and Tobago’s rich contributions to life to both West Indian ad American society.
- To promote Trinidad and Tobago and its cultural life to the people of the United States.
- To promote and foster an awareness of Trinidad’s unique contribution to the arts and music in this part of the world.
- To assist Trinidadians in whatever way possible so as to assist them their full potential in their adopted country.
- To inspire the youth of Trinidad and Tobago to attain excellence in education.
- To encourage more entrepreneurship among Trinidadian residing in this country.
What is Carnival?
Carnival began in Trinidad more than 100 years ago as a pagan custom observed with much revelry and feasting just before the start of the Lenten season. It was rigorously opposed by the Hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church and by elements of the “Hoe Polloi” who did not participate.
Today, Carnival has spread to most, if not all, the islands of the Greater and the Lesser Antilles, held different times of the year for different reasons but generally associated with the particular island’s achievement of independence.
Carnival is also celebrated as nearby as the Virgin Islands. In Barbados, it is tied to their “Crop Over”, which marks the end of the cane cutting season. And in Jamaica, after experimenting with “Road Dances” as part of its annual independence celebrations, has now gone fully for Carnival, importing pan men from Trinidad to play alongside their local musicians.
In Trinidad, Carnival started our being a display of folk dances, stick fights and calypso that mainly made political statements, comments on the social scene or made philosophical expressions. Other Calypsos were just “Ole Picong”. The music for the revelers was provided but the Bamboo Tamboo players, using pieces of sticks and bamboo to produce musical sounds. Regular dance bands also played on the toad for revelers.
World War II came and Carnival was suspended. But when the reign of the “Mad Monarch” was restored, it did not take long for Winston “Spree” Simon to pound out the first complete tune on a pan he had fashioned out from a discarded drum.
The rest, as we say, is history. Pan-Men organized themselves into competing bands. Carnival mutated into beautiful pageants featuring historical bands that portrayed epochs British, Spanish, and other rulers.
Of course the bands became bigger and better. The costumes became more and more elaborate. With each succeeding year Carnival involved more teamwork, competition and camaraderie. It’s a time for fun and jump up. The Mad Monarch (or is the now The Merry Monarch?) will reign at The Pier in downtown St. Petersburg. See You There!