Tips for Ordering a Wire Bra

Tips for Ordering a Wire Bra

By Posted on 4min read47 views

When ordering your carnival costume, you choose a regular bra or a wire bra.  Wire bras…

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Buying a Carnival Costume: Register with a band

Buying a Carnival Costume: Register with a band

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The first time I decided to play mas, I was confused about many things.  My biggest…

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Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival 2022: Parade canceled.

By Posted on 3min read56 views

My carnival love story started with Atlanta-Dekalb carnival back in 2015.  Every year, I look forward to returning “home” to pay homage to the event that literally transformed by life.  Over the years, there have been issues with some bands, and every year there has always been shit-talking among the rivaling associations. Yes, there are two “Atlanta” carnivals, and it has been that way since I started.

On May 10th, it was announced that 6 major bands had left Atlanta-Dekalb carnival and moved to the original downtown Atlanta parade.  Citing a reduction in allowed music and ancillary trucks on the road, several bands needed to merge together to make things work.  I did an interview with Chigga, the president of the ACBC, who reassured that there would still be a great experience to be had by all, and was impressed that this complication spoke to how much the event has grown.  I was optimistic.

What happened this year was beyond egregious.

Atlanta Dekalb Carnival announcement
The cancellation of the parade was literally announced after the 11th hour of the day.

I heard rumblings of a cancelled carnival from reliable sources, but chose to wait to say anything until official word was received. It wasn’t until after 11pm that evening that the ACBC announced the Atlanta-Dekalb carnival parade was cancelled, citing their permits had not yet been signed, and that Dekalb police could not hire enough people to cover the event.

Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival News
According to a news article, the ACBC were notified on May 19th. Click to read the full article.

Last minute move to downtown.

I contacted the band leader, who said they were working to figure out if they could go downtown.  Around 7am, I saw an IG post notifying us of the move.  I slept like a mummy to preserve the makeup from the night prior, and headed downtown around 9:30 to secure good parking.  I will discuss my road experience later.

The following day, rumblings of news articles and media coverage surfaced regarding the mess left in the downtown carnival village, along with complaints from the neighborhood as masqueraders urinated on their property.

Patricia Henry, the leader of downtown Atlanta Carnival, pointed fault to the Atlanta Dekalb revelers that came downtown.

It should be noted that not all bands were able to join the downtown parade.  It should also be noted that the community was not notified that were were coming through.  Most importantly, it should be highlighted that downtown Atlanta’s parade route was changed days before their parade

It's the lack of accountability that makes me angry.

The ACBC knew one week before their permits were not approved. They blamed the Dekalb County police department the night before the parade.

Instead of taking responsibility for failing to notify the local community and ensuring proper staffing for trash cleanup, the downtown event president pointed fingers to Dekalb revelers.

I believe a leadership change MUST happen if we want to see Carnival in Atalnta next year…. BOTH associations.

I know the outcome is not my fault.  My coverage of the Atlanta Carnivals was out of pure love, and was in no way sponsored.  And yet, I feel responsible because I cherish my influence.    As a military professional, a leader, I’m used to taking responsibility for things that are not in my control. This is something that I will continue to struggle with for some time to come. This is definitely not my cross to bear.

It breaks my heart knowing that I will be sitting out future events for some time.  As always, I will always root/cheer for every Carnival event out there. Successful events mean everyday people will fall in love with Carnival, like I once did. And so, I’ll be patiently waiting and watching to see when I can come “home” again.

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Charlotte Caribbean Carnival 2022

Charlotte Caribbean Carnival 2022

By Posted on 2min read42 views

I had no clue about Charlotte Caribbean Carnival until I moved back to the east coast. …

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Miami Carnival 2022: The ULTIMATE Guide.

Miami Carnival 2022: The ULTIMATE Guide.

By Posted on 9min read49 views

The Miami carnival parade will take place on October 9, 2022, from 10 AM – 12…

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Shoes for Carnival

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Prepping for carnival does not stop with ordering the costume.  Now you have to think about things, such as fishnets, bags, gems, hairstyles, makeup, and footwear.  A common question I am asked is: Where do I find carnival shoes? Where do I find carnival boots? What shoes do you recommend? 

In this blog, I will talk to you about the different types of shoes for carnival and list some of my recommendations. 

Note: This blog contains affiliate links, but I stand by the products and recommendations I have used or implemented.  Thank you so much. your support!

When it comes to a carnival shoe, nothing will beat comfort.  

Sneakers

carnival shoe
Amazon has so many budget friendly sneakers with a wide color range! Click the photo to check out my idea list on amazon.

Sneakers are my absolute go-to carnival shoes. You can find them anywhere, but you can also find many style options.  I don’t like to spend a lot of money on my carnival shoes, so I found some incredibly comfortable, budget-friendly styles with a wide range of color options! 

Note: If you ever purchase a cheap shoe, I strongly recommend replacing the insoles.  Be sure to take out the insoles they came with BEFORE you put the new ones in.  Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for a poor fit.

Wedges

carnival shoes
Wearing the carnivalista steps in Spice. Clik the photo to shop. Use Code: AWM2022 for 10% of your order

 I adore wedge sneakers for carnival.  Alternatively, you can get wedge boots.  I am 5’1’’ on a good day, so I would like all the height I can comfortably reach.  Having short legs, wedge sneakers lengthen their appearance and lifts my butt a little bit.

If you decide to get a wedge sneaker, be mindful of the height of the wedge vs the drop stopping at the base of the balls of your feet.  If the difference is more than 2 inches, you may not find them comfortable for wear over time.

Boots

carnival boots
I purchased these boots and glued on cowrie shells to match my costume. I also have a black pair for J'ouvert. Click the photo to shop!

Alternatively, boots are a versatile option for carnival. You can choose knee-high, ankle boots and booties, flats, heels, or wedges. I got a great pair of combat boots that I have worn for J’ouvert, and I even dressed up a red pair for Carnival Tuesday in Trinidad.  If you sweat a lot, you may find that you might not prefer to wear knee-high lengths. Carnival kicks have been known for their high-quality, budget-friendly carnival boots.  Be sure to check them out.

Heels

carnival boot gold
I wore these boots for a short carnival route, Houston 2021. I don't prefer it for myself.

I am not a fan of heels for carnival, but do you, boo-boo!  

I have worn a pair of platform heels on the road.  Platform heels won’t be as stressful as a pair of stilettos, but bear in mind the wear on your feet will be accumulative. Take note of the height difference at the top of the heel (where your heel sits) and where the base of the shoe (where the balls of your feet sit).  The greater the difference, the more stress on your foot.  

We all know that heels do wonders for the legs and butt, but they’re not meant to be worn ALL DAY LONG.  Heels will push your toes toward the toe box, which can lead to some tender toes.  Additionally, weak ankles should not subscribe to wearing heels on the road.  The terrain may not always be flat, and you may encounter potholes or cracks in the road.

Where to buy carnival shoes

Check out a few online stores from which I shop. I highly recommend them, so click the names to head to the website.

Footwear tips/tricks

  • Watch out for sneakers that have soles with absolutely no bend.
  • All (cheap) sneakers and shoes need to have their insoles replaced. Be sure to take out the sole it came with before you replace it with the new one.
  • Avoid shoes that have very stiff toe boxes (waffle).
  • Break in your carnival shoe as much as you can. I wear them when I take my dogs for walks, and will even start wearing them when I get on treadmill walks at home. This is a good opportunity to see if you think you might want better insoles than the ones they came with.
  • Consider shoe horns. Some shoes are made narrow.  If you size up, the carnival shoe may be too large.  Put shoe horns inside to stretch out the toe box.
  • Pad your hot spots. If you know there are certain areas of your feet/toes that might blister, you can get some corn pads to wear.
  • If you are going to wear any hosiery, put your socks on BEFORE your stockings. Especially fishnets. Fishnets over time will dig into your toes and reduce circulation.

I hope this blog helps you with selecting your carnival shoe! What style do you think you would like to wear? What tips or tricks do you have to share with others? Comment below!

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Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival 2022: Major Updates

Atlanta-Dekalb Carnival 2022: Major Updates

By Posted on 2min read52 views

On May 10th, there was a major buzz on social media, as it was announced that…

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COVID Entry Requirements: Saint Lucia Carnival

COVID Entry Requirements: Saint Lucia Carnival

By Posted on 2min read48 views

I’m excited to go to Saint Lucia Carnival this year. :: insert internal squee:: I got…

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Caribmask: Carnival in Raleigh, NC

By Posted on 2min read59 views

I attended the 2019 Caribmask festival on a whim. Stressed out from work, I registered within two weeks’ notice of the event. I purchased what was in stock:  The bra I got was too big, so I stripped an old wire bra and prepared to take the fabric and gems off the new bra once I got it. I took a red-eye out of California the day before the parade and had a TIME!  Here’s all you need to know about Carnival in Raleigh, NC (Caribmask), including dates, where to stay, events, and participating bands.

All about Caribmask Carnival

Caribmask 2019 Raleigh
With masqueraders in Unity Mas Band, Caribmask 2019.

The Raleigh-Durham Afro-Caribbean Association (RDACA) will be presenting its 9th annual Caribmask Carnival Festival on August 20th, 2022 from 12PM – 8 PM.  Those attending will be afforded the opportunity to enjoy food and artisan vending.  Look out for Destra Garcia, Tricky T, and Nessa Preppy on the Main stage.

The Parade Route

Caribmask 2022 Parade Route
Caribmask 2022 Parade Route

The festival parade route is relatively short, which makes this particular festival a great one to attend if you are looking to see if participating in carnival is right for you.

The parade will start at the State Capitol Building and End at S. Salisbury and Lenoir Street.

Participating Mas Bands

Caribmask will be hosting the following mas bands this year.  You can click the hyperlinks below to view costume options if you’d like to participate.  Costume prices range from about $400 – $1150:

Getting to Raleigh, NC

You can fly to Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) if you are traveling by air.  Alternatively, you can fly into Charlotte (CLT), but it’s a 2.5-hour drive to Raleigh.  I would recommend you fly into RDU if you can.

Where to Stay

I personally like to stay near the parade routes. The parade is so short you could easily walk back to the start point.  All that said, I would recommend you stay near the state capitol building.  Check out the booking.com widget below.  

Booking.com

Tourist Activities

Raleigh NC is a beautiful area FULL of African American History.  If you have never gone to Raleigh, here are some tourist activity ideas for you to enjoy:

I am so super excited to be heading back to Raleigh this year! I hope to see you on the road! 
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All About Monday Wear

All About Monday Wear

By Posted on 2min read49 views

I remember the first time I heard “Monday Wear.” What is Monday wear? Where do I…

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Saint Lucia Carnival Costumes

Saint Lucia Carnival Costumes

By Posted on 2min read60 views

We all know the trophy will undoubtedly return to Trinidad next year, but the buzz around…

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