Carriacou Regatta & Rainbow City Festival

Featured Article - by Lincoln Depradine
May, 2009

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“The momentum to Spice Mas is enhanced by Rainbow City Festival and Carriacou’s Regatta, two other pieces of the local cultural mosaic.”

Rainbow City Festival is held in St. Andrew, Grenada’s largest parish. But don’t get befuddled if someone invites you to Rainbow City Festival in La Baye. It’s a French name still widely used to refer to St. Andrew, which is also called the “Big Parish.’’

One would be hard pressed to have a discussion in St. Andrew without mention being made of Black Wizard. Born Elwin McQuilkin, Black Wizard is a favourite La Baye son, a former Calypso Monarch, and a superb songwriter – arguably second only to Trinidad’s Winsford “Joker’’ Devine. At age 66, Mr. Devine has written more than 400 calypso and soca songs for performers like Grenada-born Mighty Sparrow, the undisputed Calypso King of the World. He has also composed for Machel Montano, Singing Francine, Scrunter, Trini, Blakie, Crazy, Baron, Explainer and King Austin.

As well, Mr. Devine penned the Grenada Road March song, “Madness,’’ which was sung by the musical “Hit Man’’ Elimus Gilbert. Elimus, whose calypso sobriquet is Inspector, hails from Grenada’s northern-most parish, St. Patrick.

Rainbow City Festival, a potpourri that blends items such as carnival show, gospel concert and arts and craft exhibition, will be held from July 31 to August 3, 2009.

However, no visit to our shores will be consummated unless a stop is made in Carriacou and Petite Martinique, where carnival is still celebrated as a pre-Lenten festival. What Carriacou does have in the summer is a Regatta, which is an eclectic of aquatics and bacchanal.

There are the inevitable boat races during the nine-day Regatta, scheduled this year from July 26 to August 3. The conviviality of the Carriacou Regatta also includes fetes, boat cruises and concerts that bring together the crème de la crème of local and foreign artistes.