Family-ly-ly-ly-ly in Jacksonville, Fl.

by Weldon Ryan

It was a hot August day and despite the heat, carnivalist came out from all of Florida as well as elsewhere to enjoy this Jacksonville fete. Richlin and I got up early to come out and try something new with our tent set up. Since Richlin got into jewelry design she incorporated her jewelry with the art display this year (

The vendors at the event came well equiped to satisfy everyones taste buds for Caribbean delights and flags, leather goods along with other souvenirs. As you had already suspected, the cold drinks hit the spot for many.

As I hobbled to the parade route I caught up with some photographers but I soon realized how hard that was so I eased myself to a less stress photo opportunity waiting for them to chip to my location on the route. There wasn’t as many Mas bands as with the last two years. But inspite of this the parade of players made much noise and fevour as they got in order for the judges.

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The venue performers featured as headliner Patrice Roberts but the old school Soca Manarch, Preacher, made his appearance. Preacher reminded us of what made Soca great. He moved the group with all time great “Jump up and Wave” and other famous soca hits that’s scorched in our memories. I really enjoyed all of the performers as we’re all family. What always makes a great party is audience participation and like last year with SuperBlue, Patrice made things exciting. She closed out the event with a bang as the drizzle turned to a rain. My guess is that mother nature had to get into the act too!

I really enjoy Jacksonville Carnival. Every year they put on great musicians and although it’s small compared to Miami, New York and even Orlando, there is a sense of family. That feeling in itself brings a feeling of comfort and I look forward to the growth and the excitement it brings to North Florida every year. Big Ups to COOJI!