Carriacou Parang Festival

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One thing you must experience if you’re going to Carriacou is the annual Carriacou Parang Festival. 

This festival is held each year in the month of December on the weekend coming before Christmas. This occasion attracts hundreds of visitors from all over the region.

2023 Carriacou Parag Festival

When: 15-17 December 2023

The 2023 Carriacou Parang Festival, a spectacular celebration of music and culture, is set to be a vibrant and unforgettable event. Scheduled to take place in the heart of Carriacou, this festival is a testament to the island's rich musical heritage and its deep-rooted traditions in the Parang genre. This year's festival promises to bring an even more electrifying atmosphere, with a lineup of both local and regional artists ready to showcase their talent.

Building upon the legacy of previous years, the 2023 edition will feature an array of activities and performances that embody the spirit of Caribbean festivity. Attendees can expect to be treated to a diverse selection of Parang music, ranging from traditional melodies to contemporary interpretations that fuse various musical styles. The festival is not just a musical event but a cultural immersion, offering a unique blend of history, art, and community spirit.

One of the highlights of this year's festival is the introduction of interactive workshops and cultural exhibitions. These sessions are designed to engage visitors and locals alike, offering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Parang music genre and its significance in Carriacou's cultural landscape. Additionally, the festival will continue its tradition of the Parang String Band competition, where bands from across the island compete, filling the air with the melodious sounds of violins, guitars, and other traditional instruments.

The 2023 Carriacou Parang Festival is more than just an event; it's a celebration of community, heritage, and the joyous spirit of the Caribbean. It invites everyone to partake in the festivities - to sing, dance, and revel in the musical richness that Carriacou has to offer. Whether you're a longtime Parang enthusiast or a newcomer to the genre, the festival is an enchanting experience that encapsulates the heart and soul of Carriacou.

The History

The Parang Festival began in 1977. This festival sustains their musical tradition of house-to-house serenading by acoustic string bands at the time of Christmas. They also have a so-called Melee Parang Night where they re-tell stories of the happenings on the island over the year.

One unique feature of the festival is that they hold a musical competition of what they call Parang bands. People from the villages of Carriacou, its neighboring island Petit Martinique, and even Grenada organize Parang groups who compete against each other.

Each group has a maximum of eight members and they all dress in colorful and creative outfits - showcasing the festive season. They use instruments like bass drum, guitar, iron, violin, quarto, marack (shack-shack), mandolin, saxophone, tambourine, and etc. The groups perform twice. First, it is a “test-piece” Christmas carol that will be selected by the festival committee and to be followed by a song of their choice.

Except for the fun, what also makes the contenders really strive hard are the cash prizes and shining trophy that will be rewarded to the winners. They are judged according to their appearance and performance.

Back in 1987, the Carriacou Parang Festival was extended to two days. This was to help the entertainers from different countries to be able to perform for the people of Carriacou and Petit Martinique. Hence, the festival’s Saturday night was called “Foreign Entertainers’ Night”.

The Objective

The non-profit youth organization, Mt. Royal Progressive Youth Movement, founded and runs the festival. This organization is dedicated to developing the community and serving the less fortunate people.

This festival they’ve created improves the lives of people on Carriacou as well as brings joy to vacationers looking to have a great time.

Everyone is invited to enjoy the singing of harmonious songs and hear humorous stories of what happened in the island during the year.

How exhilarating could it be to not just witness, but also experience the Parang Festival even just once in a lifetime!

Additional Information

Due to COVID, the Carriacou Parang Festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021. Despite being canceled physically, they continued to celebrate the festival virtually. In their FB page, they announced a Parang Christmas Jingle Competition. The participants sang a Parang/Christmas Jingle or Carol that is not more than one minute and sent them in Messenger of the Carriacou Parang Festival FB page (see below). They posted the Jingle/Carol on Social Media and the most liked and shared video received additional points.

For more details, you can visit the Carriacou Parang Festival page on Facebook.

Contact Details

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Carriacou-Parang-Festival-816086485197089/

Email: carriacouparang@gmail.com

Telephone: +1 (473)443 7647

Website: https://www.puregrenada.com/festivals/carriacou-parang-festival/


Tags

December


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