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What's Going On? By Todd Mangatal


Carnival in Washington DC was great!  Carnival took place on June 28th & 29th in its new location in downtown Wash. DC directly in between the US Capital and the Washington Monument.  What an amazing site, and accomplishment!  Many don’t realize what an achievement this is for the entire Caribbean Community.  Just image over a million (in my opinion, but heard rumors that it was approx. 750,000 people), everyone jamming to the sounds of Soca and steel pan music.  All I heard playing was “Trini to the Bone” throughout the route...What a sweet song!  The costumes were beautiful, and the mud band on the Capital, WOW what a site.  Having the mud on the Mall was truly an accomplishment and statement.  The Caribbean is here to Stay!!!!

This was bigger than anyone could have imagined.  For the past months there have been mixed feelings in the community about Carnival leaving Georgia Avenue, I heard a lot of these feeling expressed by some in attendance on Carnival Saturday and Sunday.  There was a group advocating that the move from GA Ave. was somehow a racist move, spear-headed by the mayor, others have said that the Carnival committee was trying to take the Carnival out of what we know it as “Carnival”, and there were many other comments and feelings.  However, none of this is true, there was no way Georgia Avenue could have accommodated the amount of people that attended this year, so as an event grows and the interest in that event grows, the location may change to accommodate the success and growth.

I have also heard the comment “how could $5.00 be charged for food in the Carnival Plaza”, but that makes no sense to me.  Everyone forgot that entertainment was supplied - a wonderful show was planned for both Carnival Saturday and Sunday, so therefore it was not a fee for food, it was a fee to enter the festival plaza, just like you would pay at any festival, fair, or event.  Remember a $10.00 fee was charged to enter Miami Carnival Plaza the night before their Carnival (Saturday), and a $20.00 fee to enter on Sunday, and there was a fee in Orlando as well.  This comment would be warranted if it was made by someone who didn’t understand the culture, or an American person who might not have a clue about Carnival and what was going on, but I’m sure they would understand that you would pay to go to most festival and events.  For example (1) a week earlier at the same Carnival location here in DC there was a festival, and their fee was $7.00 to enter, which featured only food, and many paid to buy the food; (2) When you go to a nightclub, you pay to buy drinks; and (3) If you go to an expo (computer, etc.), you pay to get in, and then you pay for the products, therefore looking at all these facts, it is clear that people are complaining just to complain.  What’s amazing is the majority of people making these comments are Caribbean people, and again what are you doing?  You are again De-valuing your artist and entertainment, by saying there should be no charge to come into a festival area that is showcasing the culture, and entertainment from the Caribbean, especially since it is the Carnival.  Come on folks, Naya, Iwer, and Fayann was in the plaza on Saturday, and put on “a hell of a show”, and on Sunday “Arrow” turned it out.  You can’t pay $5.00 to see these major international artists?  If so, that’s absurd!  Arrow has the biggest selling Soca song of all times, and his song “Hot, Hot, Hot” has done more for Soca music than any other song to date, so again you can’t pay $5.00 to support the showcasing of your culture?  Fayann was Road March Queen this year, and you can’t pay to see her?  Unbelievable!  Click here to voice your opinion about this important Carnival issue! or e-mail me at todd@ariousentertainment.com.  All comments will be posted on Message Board.

While I 'm talking about Arrow, I must commend the Carnival Committee for making a great choice to invite and bring Arrow for the Sunday finale show, especially since Arrow first tested the song “Hot, Hot, Hot” right here in DC 20 years ago at “Summer In The Park in DC”, and the audience loved it.  From that point on the song had gotten hotter and hotter.  I believe with this Carnival move to the new location, it was only logical to bring the biggest selling Soca artist of all times.  I also had an opportunity to meet “Arrow” on Sunday and that was a pleasure.  Big Up “Arrow”, I enjoyed the show, it was really energetic.  Remember our On-Line Community is always here for you, so hit us up and let us know if we can help you in any way by getting info. out to our Audience and Community.

The fun started on Saturday the 21st with the Pan Jam, even though the turn out was small, it was nice, and those who attended really enjoyed themselves.  I particularly enjoyed the rendition of “JaHeem’s hit song “We’re fabulous” played by “St Veronica’s Youth Steel Pan Orchestra.  Big Up to Emlyn Harewood…He did a great job organizing this event.  All the other steel pan groups were wonderful as well.  The next day (Sunday 22nd) had a wonderful turnout; it was the judging of the costumes.  There were not many costumes, but what was there was really nice.  The fun continued on Thursday, June 26th, with the DC Carnival Committee’s 3rd Annual Calypso “Champs in Concert Show”.  It featured Sugar Aloes and Shadow, from what I heard the people really enjoyed themselves.  I myself was blessed by witnessing the best (in my opinion) reggae event that Washington DC has seen in the last 10 years. 

Let me shift gears for a moment and talk about this Thursday Night Reggae Show.  This out-door show at “The X-Roads”, on the same Thursday night (June 26th) featuring the Abyssinians, Sister Nancy and Brigadier Jerry.  The night started off slow with the DJs just being themselves “boring” me with their same (set of songs in a row).  This lasted for 4 hours, but it didn’t matter, because the outdoor vibes were nice, and it was one of the first nights we did not have rain.  Around 11pm Tony Carr took the stage and asked, “are you ready for the Abyssinians?” and of course we were.  The Abyssinians were great, you could immediately feel the vibe change, the people started to relax and the place was truly Irie with the different smells around you…just image the smellsum they were good!  In addition to the great smells, to satisfy your munchies the fish and jerk was on the grill.  I have never experienced this vibe in Washington DC, it felt like being by the beach in Jamaica.  The Abyssinians performed all their hits for 1 and ½ hours, which was a treat.  It was truly an “Irie Thursday”!  At this point, I was fulfilled and I thought the show was over, I thought maybe I had missed the other artists that was schedule to perform, but Tony Carr came back to the stage and thanked the Abyssinians and announced that some real dancehall music will be coming up next.  After sometime he introduced us to the famous “Downbeat International”, who in my opinion is the foundation of dancehall music, and this is where the night became even more perfect.  Image “Downbeat with his smooth Irie style, and numerous amounts of “Dub plates”.  What a treat!  He started off playing in the same vibe as the Abyssinians, and continued to build the vibe.  Sister Nancy (a true dancehall diva) joined Downbeat in the booth, and rocked it “in a dancehall style” with 2 turntables and 1 mike.  Actually that night I was chilling with EZ Street from WPGC 95.5, and he asked why was Sister Nancy not performing on stage, I explained that what he is experiencing is truly dancehall, and this is the way dancehall began - with the DJ and the artist vibing together.  It wasn’t all about the “star thing”, the stage, or lights, it was just about vibing with each other and setting the pace and the vibe for the dance.  I emphasized to him that we all must realize dancehall is more than a Sean Paul Video.  Sometimes when the music gets to popular it looses its true identity, and I don’t want to see that happen with dancehall. Getting back to the show, Briggy Jerry came on and really turned things out, with all his tunes in a true spirit of the dancehall.  Boy, it was really, really nice.  If you missed this one, you really missed a show.  Well, The DJ (Downbeat), Sister Nancy and Briggy all kept playing until 2:30 am…until the security finally pulled the plug, and of course no dancehall would be complete without a round of name calling between the DJs and the Security.  What a treat and what a Night!  It was fabulous…Magnum, you finally brought us the true dancehall, I’m proud that you are able to see what I have been asking for all these years.  After all the fights and explanations about what I expected the dancehall to be, it’s good it was finally achieved.   Big Up and Maximum Respect!!!

Since my wife is a part of the Carnival board, there wasn’t much time for parties the rest of the weekend, but somehow between helping her prepare for the big event the next day, Friday, June 27th we did get the opportunity to briefly stop by the Camouflage/Insomnia Fete.  This event was impressive…the support was great!  Most in attendance was attired in Camouflage gear.  We were able to receive the VIP treatment that night, so this gave us the opportunity to avoid the long line that stretched down the block.  When we stepped in the crowded club 2K9, it was hard to walk.  What sticks out in my mind is the smells…wow what great smells (and it wasn’t perfume or cologne…laugh)!  To my surprise I ran into many of my reggae crew, who I would have never expect to see jamming in a corner at a Soca Show.   The nice thing about this event was the in-door/out-door atmosphere.  The tent outside was great, and a good relief from the crowd on the inside.  Let me now talk about the DJs, I can’t tell you who was playing when we walked in, because there were so many people, I couldn’t even see the DJs, and the vibes was so nice that it didn’t matter who was playing.   Just before we were about to leave, which was about 3am, the DJ switched to reggae, it was a treat the way the switch was made.  He didn’t loose his crowd, no one complained as they normally do, but just kept dancing and vibing.  His mix was really good!  Good Job ICE Promotions & Army Boys.  This was a very nice and successful event.  Big Up Brian Jordan, you had a success! 

This past weekend we were still recovering from Carnival and were unable to make it to DJ Smalley’s and Ja Ja Creations Boat Ride in Baltimore, but many of you turned out and made it a success.  We heard from our friends that it was the best boat ride EVER, and they can’t wait for the next one.  We are so sorry that we were too tired to make it, but next time.  DJ Smalley “Big Up”, and thanks for the wonderful thank you e-mail you sent us.  It was a pleasure reading your nice words.  We are very happy to see that our on-line service is appreciated, working and clearly reaching people.  Everyone is really looking forward to the next boat ride, so let us know when it will take place.  We will definitely get the word out, and most importantly we will be there!  “Big Up Lloyd – Ja Ja Creations”.   Thanks for the gift you gave my wife on Carnival Sunday!

We also missed Debbie’s Birthday Lingerie Bash!  I heard it was the “bomb”, and the models were wonderful.  Happy Belated Birthday Debbie, sorry we missed your big event.  Carnival got the best of us!

  Click here for a sneak peak of Debbie and her models! 

Click to view Debbie's Birthday Bash Models

This Friday - July 11th, Zanzibar on the Waterfront Kicks Off their Caribbean Professionals Networking Happy Hour Series.  This event’s mission is to provide a forum for Caribbean Professionals to network and connect with fellow Caribbean nationals and friends.  It starts at 6pm and it will take place upstairs on the out-door patio.  Bring you business cards, and network with other professionals in the area.  Big up to the planners Lesia H. Quamina & Finiana S. Joseph.  We will see you there! For more info. log on to www.zanzibar-otw.com.

Next week everyone is looking forward to Baltimore Carnival.  I hear it will be a 3 day event starting on Friday July 18th with the DiManche Gras show, the parade will take place on Saturday along with entertainment and vending in Druid Hill park.  The liming continues in the park on Sunday with entertainment from Caribbean artists, and vending of food and crafts.  Baltimore organizers kindly hit us back with some more detailed information about your Carnival, or post it on our Message Board!  We will see you at this event!

Look out in the next week or so for an interesting inside look at DC Carnival, from the beginning to the end, it should be very exciting!  Look out for pictures too.


Support our local businesses (1) Lee's Shipping, (2) Artistic Expressions,  (4) West Indian Record Mart (5)  . See more info. below on all businesses.


If you have a business or service, and you would like to expose it to our On-Line Community.  E-mail us at admin@ariousentertainment.com 

Remember to Support all the Events, without your support, the quality of entertainment will diminish!  

Log on to our message board and let us know what happened in your town/area over the weekend.


A Special Message from Susan Mangatal to All 2003 DC Carnival Vendors

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all the Vendors who participated in the DC Carnival this year.  You are a special part of this event, and it was a pleasure working with all of you.  To the Vendors that was honest enough to announce they made over $14,000.00 I'm happy that it was so successful for you.  My goal this year was to make sure all of you made money (I did not want a repeat of last year).  I know all of you were skeptical to vend because of our move, but thanks for believing in us and taking the chance to work with us again.  To Vendors such as  Chick from Chick Productions;  Josephine Smith (MJ Caterers), Comfort Yirenkyi from Shandycom network; Battach Inc.; , Dexter and Crew from Afrodisia Inc; Mr. & Mrs. Williams and family from Just Jerk It; Mr. & Mrs. Haughton & Rosie from Exotic Tropic Caterers;  Lynnette James-Atlanta Lyns Caribbean Delight; Christine McLaughlin-Ohio Island Delight Caterers, Mr. Tillman - PA from JC Unlimited (Carpet products) and many others, Thank you for your wonderful compliments.  I enjoyed working with all of you too.   Most importantly, I want to thank Deanna Skinner for her tremendous support with vending, she was my right hand person during the Carnival weekend.  Thanks a lot for all your help Deanna!  

Shurla Samual - Caribbean Delight, I can't thank you enough for all your help with my pre-vending activities, such as meetings, preparing materials, etc.  You helped me more than you can imagine!

Keith, Mark, Shurla, Todd, Deanna,  we really did a good job this year!

Vendors:  Remember for next year, you must register in advance.  This event was clearly successful (all around) and you want to reserve your space early!


Scroll down to view all the upcoming events!



Washington DC


Friday - July 11th, 2003

Zanzibar on the Waterfront's Caribbean Professionals Networking Happy Hour Series.

This event’s mission is to provide a forum for Caribbean Professionals to network and connect with fellow Caribbean nationals and friends.

6pm and it will take place upstairs on the out-door patio.  

Bring you business cards, and network with other professionals in the area.

For more info. log on to www.zanzibar-otw.com



Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore Carnival

July 18, 19, 20, 2003

DiManche Gras Show (Druid Hil Park) - 7/18/03

Parade - Park Heights Avenue - 7/19/03

 Caribbean Food, Entertainment, Crafts, etc. at Druid Hill Park - 7/20/03

Come out and Support!


Wilmington Delaware


The 9th Annual Peoples Festival

A Tribute To The King Of Reggae


Positive Fun, Great Live Entertainment, Food And Craft Vendors, Children's Village, Beautiful Festival Site, Plenty of Parking, Irie Vibes All Day




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Freight Consolidators, Travel Agents, Manufacturers' Reps., - P.O. Box 8300 Hyattsville, MD 20787

Phone: 301-559-9710  -  Fax: 301-559-2721  -   E-mail: Caribbean@leesship.com  -  Website: http://www.leesship.com 


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