There are various competitions that take place during the Trinidad Carnival. These competitions are taken very seriously with many groups and individuals preparing for an entire year for the competitions. Some of the most popular competitions at the Trinidad Carnival include the Calypso Monarch, Soca Monarch, the King and Queen of the Bands, the Carnival Road March and Panorama.
Besides the actual Carnival itself, Soca Monarch is the largest event that takes place during the Trinidad Carnival. Soca Monarch is a music competition to determine the best soca song of the Carnival. The competition is held on Carnival Friday, also known as Fantastic Friday. The Soca Monarch completion is divided into two titles: The International Soca Monarch and the International Groovy Soca Monarch. The groovy Soca Monarch is a slower-paced soca songs. The event is broadcast on national Television. It has been dubbed the Super Bowl of Soca Music.
The greatest honor that a musician or band can receive is to be named the Calypso Monarch. The winner of Calypso Monarch receives a large trophy, a new car, $2 million and several endorsements and contracts. The competition to determine the Calypso Monarch is broadcast live on television for millions to see.
The Road March
The Road March is the song that is played most often during the Carnival Parade route. This is the song that many of the bands that are marching will dance to and it is often a soca song. Having the title of Road march is one of the most prestigious awards that a musician can receive.
Panorama is the largest Steelband competition in the world. The winning band for Panorama is awarded $2 million, the second place band receives $1 million and the third place band receives $750,000. Hundreds of bands participate in this event and practice for months on end. Every year, crowds of supporters gather to support their favorite Panorama band.
The King and Queen of the March
The King and Queen of the March is a competition to determine the best costume of the Carnival. Each band is lead by a King and a Queen who wear very large costumes which are often so large that other masqueraders have to help them carry it through the streets. Many of these costumes will move on wheels. The King and Queen are always chosen on Carnival Sunday, also known as Dimanche Gras.
While designers and Mas Camp staff work hard to get thousands of revelers into the stret in a see of color, it is the Carnival Kings and Queens competition that showcases the real imagination and skill that these designers have. This is the beauty pageant of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival. The costumes of the kings and queens are often gargantuesque structures that are given life by both the accompanying music and the man or woman chosen to pilot the structure. These structures often have splendid colours, intricate detailing and so much more. Since the king and queen’s costume need to be presented to judges during the competition, they are always the best costumes of any band.
The competition takes place during the Dimanche Gras on Carnival Sunday. Dimanche Gras is also when the Calypso Monarch competition takes place.