The Duke

 

The day had finally arrived for Joaquin to represent his school as The Duke of Joseph Sibilly.  We went down early to the parade to make sure we knew where we were going.  He is wearing the sailor outfit that matches the rest of the carnival troupe for his school since our theme was “The Seven Flags that Flew over the Islands.”

He also wore a regal cape and crown.  Many of you know this, but I think capes are the best and should be brought back into fashion.

 

 

The Duchess

What Duke could be complete without his very own Duchess?  I had to tease Joaquin a little bit about that.  They both humored me by taking this picture.

 

 

Their ride

 

The school arranged for their ride to be comfortable and stylish.  We showed Joaquin how to do to the proper wave and reminded him to smile as the car eased out onto the street.

 

 

Sweet Ride

 

I was one of the parents assigned to walk with the Carnival Troupe, so, I waited with the group until it was our turn to advance down the narrow road.

They block off a long section of Main Street for the children’s parade.  The adult parade happens the next day, but we didn’t make it because we spent three hours walking in this parade.  Well, Jonathan, Isabella, and I walked as the Duke rode in his sliver convertible.

 

 

Our Carnival Troupe

 

The troupe was a nice size of about twenty kids and twenty five parents, who walked the perimeter, to make sure the kids didn’t escape.

We were also responsible for helping the kids remember the simple dance moves that they learned.  They would do them to the tune of the steel pan band that played in the double decked trailer in front of us, also from our school.  Now, remember, this is a troupe from an elementary school with the majority of the troupe being in K-3rd.  It was like herding cats.  Most of the older kids are committed to a steel pan band or dance group.

 

 

Posing for Pictures

 

 

The Troupe

 

It still was incredibly fun and sweet to watch these kids perform to calypso music.  I really felt part of the celebration.  I also felt a little proud that our son, after being here for only a matter of months, was representing Joseph Sibilly.

 

 

The Steel Pan Band

 

We inched along and had to smell the delicious food from the vendors along the route.  We tried to remember where along the route we would want to return once we were done with the march.  This and the adult parade are the climax of Carnival.  People begin to stake out spots on the route even the night before the parades.

 

 

 

The Band and Troupe on the Route

 

As we finally reached the end of the parade, we realized that they had each group up on the stage to introduce themselves over the PA system.  I panicked.  We had not prepared Joaquin for this.  I had a sudden vision of the woman announcer asking Joaquin simple questions like: what is your name, what school do you attend, how old are you?  Then in my vision, Joaquin would look blankly into the crowd as cricket sounds over powered the silence.

 

 

Joaquin being interviewed.

 

We rushed over to him and told him what would be expected of him.

Then he and his duchess walked confidently on stage.  Joaquin’s voice boomed through the speakers.  “My name is Joaquin Hawkes and I am the Duke of Joseph Sibilly.”  I was so proud of him.  He did great and looked so at ease.

 

 

Take a bow

 

They walked together to the end of the runway and took their bow to the applause and cheers of other parents and students.

 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Sibilly

 

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Sibilly represent the older grades of Joseph Sibilly.

 

 

The Moko Jumbies

 

With sweaty backs and tired feet, we retraced our steps of the parade route, only this time catching a quick glimpse of other troupes and searching for well deserved food.

Some troupes had Moko Jumbies, where people stand on stilts that can be anywhere from a few inches to what looks like five to six feet tall.  One young man, on what looked like five feet stilts, hopped on one leg and bent backwards to show off his balance.  I’m not sure that I have the courage to learn that skill.

 

 

Another Troupe

 

I wished we had been part of the crowd so I could have documented this elaborate display of colors, traditions, and culture.

Well, maybe next year I will get more pictures.

 

 

Elaborate Costumes

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