In Antigua, there are three carnival days on the road. T-Shirt Mas is the first day. The two consecutive days is a week later, the first Monday and Tuesday of August.
Most of us international carnivalistas, when we go to carnivals that are not our local carnivals, perhaps due to the number of day holiday restraints of work, we don’t do an extended period. We might come for an extended weekend, maybe a week, then leave. Last year I came to Antigua, but not in time for T-shirt Mas. Many Antiguans stressed to me ‘T-shirt mas is it’. So, I had to make it this year. So, whilst the rest of the Antigua Tourism Authority Team are coming in on the 1st August, I decided to come to Antigua on the 27th July for T-shirt Mas.
It was tight. My flight landed on the day of T-shirt mas at 13:55hrs and the carnival start at 15:00hrs. Due to nasty weather at Gatwick, we were delayed. We didn’t until 14:55. Take in immigration time (queue was all kinds of long), collecting baggage, waiting on taxi didn’t leave the airport until 16:00hrs. I am constantly looking at the time. But the immigration officers, and taxi driver tells me it goes on until about 19:00hrs so I do have time to catch some of it.
Check in to the hotel, Starfish Jolley beach, shower, change clothes, jump on public transport and head into town. I was not disappointed. T-shirt mas has a different type of energy, higher levels, more care free vibes. Maybe because it is the first day of carnival or maybe it is not pretty mas. But it is vibes vibes vibes! I arrive just in time before sunset so I can take some images of the masqueraders. The bands have t-shirts, some have simpler costumes such as Insane’s marine’s costumes. And in that short time, I am there I can tell that Tian Winter’s ‘Do Wah You Want’ is a monster hit over here. Night falls and the carnival continues. The carnival takes on a different energy, energy revs up further. By this time, I have been up for 24 hours. But it was worth it. T-shirt mas in Antigua should not be missed. No way, no how.
The next event I know I could not miss is Druesday. It was one of my favourite events last year in Antigua, with many soca artists joining the line-up. Can’t wait for this one either. Looking forward to it. In the meantime, let me take in some of the beautiful picturesque views of Antigua from Jolley Beach. Can I recommend Star fish Jolley Resort and their staff? The Resident Manager Dale, Akin, Abne, Sandra, Mavia and Danike have been amazing and I have wanted for nothing. So far, second time round, Antigua has not disappointed.