St Lucia’s Carnival is the most extravagant event on the island. Each year in the capital, Castries, throngs of people jam the streets in colourful costumes to parade to the latest soca and calypso hits.
The major highlight of the carnival season is the calypso competition. The island’s premier performers pit their lyrical and musical abilities in an attempt to win the coveted Calypso Monarch title. The season begins months in advance, with competitors performing nightly for audiences eager to hear the latest offerings.
The carnival also features a beauty queen competition, a steel band competition called Panorama and a King and Queen of the Band competition. Individuals representing particular bands compete in elaborate costumes before a panel of judges. Amidst the revelry there is also a jam that features top soca acts from throughout the Caribbean.
All of the action explodes into a kaleidoscope of colour and sound on Carnival Tuesday when the costumed bands take to the streets for a day of complete and unadulterated fun.