Life in Belize is never dull, and there is always something going on to fulfill the senses. This week the 17th annual Expo Belize Market Place occurred at the same time as the national Carnival Road March, resulting in Belize seeing a splash of vivid color as revelers took to the streets. For anyone retiring in Belize, it is events such as these that offer fascinating and enjoyable attractions to make settling down in this nation the huge lure it has come to be.
The first celebrations started very early on the morning of Saturday September 14th when the carnival festivities commenced with the pre-carnival jouvert. This was a spectacle unto itself, attracting thousands of visitors who wanted to enjoy the vibrancy of the carnival march from start to finish. Lining up at Cesar Ridge Road in the Yarborough Green area, the carnival procession gathered and began to prepare their costumes and the instruments that would fill the street with music. Along the route, which was over two miles in length, thousands of people gathered so they could find themselves the perfect view for watching the pumping, dancing and colorful spectacle as the carnival came to life.
The carnival had a lot of participants this year, with almost 1,000 carnival kings and queens, dancers, and bands all brought together in a patriotic display. Thirteen groups marched along with the route, with seven senior and six junior categories each showcasing their own vivacious blend of colorful costumes and dazzling dance. Belize City's own Garifuna group led the march in the Two Foot Cow dance, joining with spectators to spread the revelry far and wide. Meanwhile, live music was provided by Pantemerpers Steel Band (sponsored by Bowen and Bowen), whilst the Irahunu Mas BandÂs tropical rainforest display was quite a sight to behold.
As part of the celebrations, judges were also en-route grading the performances. The Pickstock Carnival Band was the junior's winner, with their dazzling display of various nature elements catching the judge's eye. Meanwhile, the Love theme of Mother Nature's Creation took the winning place in the senior's category.
Overall, the organizers of the carnival said that 2013's parade was the best ever. Both residents and those retiring in Belize got to see an extraordinary show and spent an enjoyable day on the streets of the city.