Miami, Florida – Miami Carnival, referred to as the “ultimate cultural experience” does not take place until Indigenous People’s Day Weekend in October, but one band is already prepared. Four of the leaders behind the carnival band Gen X spoke to NBC 6 about Miami Carnival 2022.
“Gen X has been a part of Miami Carnival since at least 1999,” said Tagyei Belinfante, of Gen X Band. “So when you come to Gen X, you’re going to feel what you feel in your home country. So if you are from Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica, when you come to Gen X, you’re going to feel that vibe.”
On location from Trinidad and Tobago, this year, the band held a virtual costume launch.
“We wanted to go back to the actual roots of the festival,” said Gen X’s Marc Christian. “Within the Caribbean, it is accepted that Trinidad is the mecca of carnival. So we shot on location in Trinidad, to get the essence and the authentic nature of carnival. So we recorded everything and did a virtual launch.”
They posted the video on social media debuting their costume options for the upcoming carnival. The options are up now, more than four months before this year’s carnival steps off from the Miami-Dade Fairgrounds. “We’d like to give the customers a pretty long runway to kind of make their mind up, to make a decision to join Miami Carnival,” said Gen X’s Matthew Waddell. “The second part would be the timeline, the timetable for production to be complete.”
Many costume designers are overseas and need time for producing handmade costumes.
According to band leaders, this year’s theme “Origins-Birth of a Culture,” holds a deep meaning.
“Our objective here, was to show that we as a Caribbean people share a common history,” said Christian. “Carnival was birthed from a pretty complicated background. It included colonialism and religious practices, and it evolved over the years to where we took it as a community and made it a beautiful festival celebrating freedom, emancipation, and self-expression.”