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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Trinidad goes all out for Caribbean-style carnival and Mardi Gras

The Canadian Press: "PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Mardi Gras in the U.S. means New Orleans. In South America, it's Brazil and, in Europe, it's Venice.

But in the Caribbean, Trinidad is the place to be for carnival, with a celebration of culture, calypso and cuisine, complete with parades, elaborate costumes, bands and masquerade balls.

Carnival events begin in the days leading up to Mardi Gras, which falls on Feb. 24 this year. Festivities include Kiddies Carnival, where children and teenagers dress up and dance; the Panorama steel pan competition; a themed Masquerade Band of the Year contest with elaborate costumes and dancing; and Kings and Queens Costume Competition, where costumes of dragons, butterflies or insects can weigh up to 90 kilograms and are usually attached to wheels for mobility, with special effects like fog, light shows and fireworks to impress the judges."