Road To Trinidad Carnival 2023 Diary Entry No. 3: Road March

January 30, 2023

Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about Road March on Twitter, and as a first-time masquerader, I had no idea what road march was until my friend John put me on! 

Road March – the musical composition played most often at the “judging points” along the parade route during carnival.

I remember when I was a kid, my mom would take me every year to the kiddie carnival and to the Labor Day parade. I remember standing on the sidelines while the masqueraders danced and walked by in the most beautiful costumes I’ve ever seen. 
I remember feeling the music pulsate through my small body as the trucks passed and the voices of each DJ for each truck hyping up the crowd to wave their flags.
I remember getting hyped when the Trinidadian and Jamaican trucks would pass, because that was my moment to shine. Each year my mother would buy me new flags, and each year I’d wave them proudly as my people passed. 
I didn’t know it then, but the feeling I was feeling was Pride. Since a small kid, my mother instilled in me Pride of where we come from. Pride in the countries that gave birth to both her and my father, and Pride in the country I came from. (I had an American flag as well.)
And there was nothing like hearing the music blasting off of the trucks. 

Being from the Caribbean is like being a part of an elite club.

I think learning how to walk and wine is something you learn from small in a Caribbean household. I think it’s because the music dances through your bones and forces your body to move with rhythm as you walk along with your band. 

And for as long as I live, I’ll never forget how seeing the masqueraders, hearing the music, and waving my country’s flags with Pride made me feel. I’ll never forget any of it. And when I say this year’s soca music invokes so many of those memories. I simply cannot wait to touch the road and sing along to Mas by Mical Teja and Freetown Collective, Healing by Jimmy October, Never Again by Machel Montano, and Mental Day by KES.
I hope those songs take Road March because they’re the ones that bring back those feelings of what I didn’t know at the time was Pride.

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