Cuba Carnivale is upon us once more.


But will the showers hold off for us today, or is it time to think of the perhaps inevitable: do we need a SambaDome?

Carnival night parade is all about being hot and sweaty and (so it seems, near-naked), along with the inevitable music, rhythm and hypnotic samba music beats. Will the crowd break into spontaneous dance and applause this time, or merely look askance again at the funny people with feathers in their hair and sequins on their bums?

We’ll see you there tonight. 

Update: the weather was perfect. The stalls and food was great, people were incredibly well-behaved, and both the day and the night were just magical.


The traditional flags (hecho en Mexico!) streaming across the street made for the perfect carnival atmosphere – take away those cars and just add people!



Especially raunchy, sweating, hot and naked samba dancers. Well done Mr Morley-Hall and the thousands of volunteers. Myriads of dancers and music and weird and wacky carnival floats – hard to see most the parade, due in part because of the 150,000 people lining the streets, and also because we really really do need a SambaDome. Or at least more street furniture that can be climbed upon. Amazingly, the new launching ramp style angled seats in Courtenay Place and Ghuznee St could take the massive human loads placed on them last night. But I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that a few verandahs may have suffered structural damage… Everyone ogling to get a look at the passing beauties and yes, in many cases, fruit-decorated costumes. Sadly, for a parade sponsored by Meridian, most of the floats were badly lit and so my photos were awful. There was even a giant Fish gurning and gasping along the way (I didn’t know we had a float in this year’s parade – thank you to whoever put that on for us!). Some of the dancers were naughty (was that a brothel-sponsored float with the gyrating strippers and the big red love heart?) while others were poetic and beautiful such as this one:


And best of all – my favourite – the incredibly tight rhythm of the Wellington Batucada drumming machine.