Over my two decades in this business, I have been honored to be Grand Marshall of many wonderful community parades. On Sunday, I had a special honor as my daughter rode in the car with me as I was one of the Grand Marshals of the Miami Broward Junior Carnival parade for 2012.
I like to think of Carnival in the Caribbean as art in motion. The first time I participated as a child in Trinidad I must have been 5 years old.
As a child, it gives you the same thrills as Halloween, the chance to be something magical or sinister. Your costume can transform you into a character in a mythical story, folk lore, history or even current events. So with thousands of kids, you take to the streets, dancing to calypso music and move with the other masqueraders in a sea of glitter, feathers and pride. At the end of road are the judges, who rate you on creativity, artistry and energy.
The adults have as much fun as the kids, if not more. Carnival in the Caribbean comes out of the Catholic tradition of celebrating before fasting during the Lenten season. It's unique music, costumes and instruments were developed as far back as the slaves on sugar plantations. It is a massive celebration every year in the islands.
Island natives in South Florida and around the country designated Columbus Day weekend here to celebrate. Sunday, October 7th, is this year's main parade at Sun Life stadium.
Sunday, my daughter was a steel pan, the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. I had to tell her the history of it, how to use the pan sticks and how to dance while doing it. She had a blast, as you can tell from the pictures. Like all the other parents out at the Junior's Carnival in Central Regional Park on Sunday, it was a fun opportunity to pass down our culture in a beautiful, magical way.
Photographer Ron Elkman loves shooting the event, he stopped by and did this amazing slideshow! Enjoy!