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The Miami Broward Carnival Committee announced that there will be a carnival in Miami for 2021 and the world went crazy!  After we, the masqueraders haven't had a carnival in what felt like forever we were all here for it. Along with the carnival there were two stipulations put in place that I think were  necessary to have a safe and healthy carnival season. Although the intentions were good, I don't think it was foolproof. I mean, nothing ever is but it was executed poorly. 

The idea of "no mask, no mas" sounded nice. I'll leave that right there and move on.  Attendees of anything related to the events held by the Miami Broward Carnival Committee was to have proof of a negative Covid test.  Tests were to have been taken no later than the 7th of October and all entrance points would have only accepted a PCR test. 

Again, in a perfect world this would have been ideal but in a perfect world we are not. To be able to make it to the first event which was Panorama, you would have had to take and receive your negative PCR test by October 8th which in some cases was not enough time.  Although many of us do enjoy the Pan Finals competition, with the mele of the PCR test, the untimely death of dear Miya Marcano in addition to the drive to Doral, many of us decided to skip it this year.

Now, I do think it was a great plan but just wasn't executed well.


  • The carnival committee did post as much as they could on their website and social media. Both Instagram and Facebook. 
  • There was MAJOR help getting the word out from the South Florida Carnival Band Leaders Association Committee. Some (myself included) would say that they have done even more in getting the word out than the Carnival Committee seeing as they are a younger group of individuals who are more connected with social media and did an amazing job at getting the word out to 'the people'. They actively and consistently answered questions on Facebook and Instagram lives that gave people a better idea of what to expect and what to do closer to when the time came.
  • There were multiple ways for 'the checkers' to check PCR results.  Whether it be by email, numerous telephone applications and checking ID's against printed results.
  • If negative PCR tests couldn't be retrieved in time for an event, there were Rapid Covid tests readily available on site.
  • I felt as though the committee could have done more in every aspect.  There was no reason that another group of people should have been more active than the committee itself. IMO, that's wrong because this is your event and they, just like you only do it for the love of the carnival culture. That IS why you're doing it right?
  • Although there were many ways of checking PCR results, there was no way to accurately check any of them. There was no one who was trained to handle the multiple ways for the amount of people on top of the scammers. (The scammers were not only ready to scam the mas bands and event organizers/promoters but that's another blog post).
  • I can not speak on the entry for Panorama nor Jouvert as I did not go but can speak from what I KNOW of the carnival.  Attendees fought tooth and nail to get PCR tests done in time to attend. Many hadn't been checked by security. I would say maybe 10 (if so much) out of 100 people that were granted entrance to the park were being checked for their test results.  Personally, I wasn't asked for a paper, an email, an app, a nothing. 
  • The personal hand sanitizer that was to be given out, was nonexistent.
  • The committee requested that no test be done prior to the 7th of October.  That's when many people were flying in and it had MANY of them who tested on that day who received their results the day after the carnival.  Yes, on Monday and some even Tuesday. I know of one case that the person has yet to receive anything.  
  • If PCR tests were mandatory, why were they accepting Rapid Tests onsite? Guess that was more of one of my many unanswered questions...
The point of this particular blog post isn't to bash ANY side, group or organization so I will stop there because it has many more negatives that I could have listed.  What I am trying to say is that the committee tried.  The South Florida Carnival Band Leaders Association Committee also tried. They had things in place but again, we are not in a perfect world.  Everyone was in the spirit of GLAD an were just happy to be really outside.  Many of the people I know who went to a particular location that I will not mention on Thursday night were compliant but what is one to do when they believe that they are doing the right thing but the staff of the testing at that particular site didn't have a quick enough turn-around time? Would you forfeit all monies spent on your jouvert or carnival mas costume? Now, if you were following the rules and the guidelines, your answer should have been yes BUT I know my people. I know myself. I know what those who didn't get their tests back would have done or did do. Now, can you imagine going through all of this and when you get to the gate NO ONE IS EVEN CHECKING YOUR NEGATIVE PCR TEST? Real or not...

*****MY $0.02*****
When coming to the negative PCR tests... I believe that that responsibility should fall on the mas bands.  This way the Carnival association is still in compliance with the CDC guidelines and all attendees affiliated with a mas band are complying with the Miami Broward Carnival guidelines/stipulations.  This year there were a few bands (maybe two *that I know of) that did that but I believe that every masquerader, every band member, all security  and staff member should be screened by their band/section leader.  Unfortunately, this isn't foolproof either BUT once you prove to be Covid negative, you get your CDC wristband PLACED ON YOUR HAND ONE TIME WITH NO EXCEPTIONS! This way Liz can't give hers to Kim and John can't sell his to Paul.  Let's be real, it has multiple people who actively work in multiple bands.  Once the wristband is placed on the hand, HONEST PEOPLE will not need a second one to sell or give away. Let the people who are non masqueraders or who do not belong beat up at the gate.  This is something I'd consider a luxury that we paid for.  Let the anxiety end for masqueraders once they receive their costumes as well as their CDC clearance and be done with that.  This wristband should be something readily available to mas bands straight from the Miami Broward Carnival Committee once the band leaders collect their bands from them.  Once you've paid for 100 masqueraders, you should receive 200 bands. One to get into the park and the other is the CDC band. An because I know the tricks of the trade, do one color for carnival and one for jouvert. If necessary, one color clearance for each event. Did you understand that? Does that make sense? If not, maybe that's why I'm not on the committee.

All in all, my wish is that all who attended the carnival whether you flew in or not has gotten home safely and Covid free.  My belief is that it we all would like to see another carnival in Miami.  Let's do better as a people. Let's try abiding by the people rules so we can have years of carnivals to come even in a pandemic because Covid is very much real. Miami Broward Carnival Committee, you need to help us help you because believe it or not, both sides of the coin want a fun, safe and effortless carnival.

Now to gather my thoughts on some of these fetes.




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