2019 was certainly a special year, this was our third year participating and 14th year attending. Some of you have been with us from the beginning so you know that Alpha We Art Culture and Entertainment started this endeavor with the intention of promoting cultural accuracy in carnival. I took my time getting this article out because I wanted to take a good look back at what we have done the last few years as we continue our journey supporting Art and Culture here in Tampa Bay.
Carnival here in Tampa is a unique event for many reasons, the venue, parade and entire business model is different from other festivals. It is because of its unique setup that we felt it would be the perfect festival to participate in considering what we want to achieve. I will take this moment to thank the management of Tampa Caribbean festivals because they have never hesitated to support us and have been very accommodating in supporting our efforts.
It seems like everywhere you turn in this day and age, bigger and louder is always touted as better. The problem comes about when those things get tied to bigger cost to the reveler; yet less quality in the experience and louder noise without the message. AlphaWe had a different train of thought. We didn’t seek to fill the streets with people if we couldn’t bring out their merriment. The loudest sound means nothing if we leave out the meaning behind the music. Our Carnival committee took these ideals and ran with them. Trust me when I say they had to run uphill all the way.
April 20th 2019 the story of Beau Lam Lamier continues with the fruits and the spirits of the forest depicted by our green costume designs. The Forbidden Fruits were our female characters embodying the gifts of knowledge, healing and enlightenment we seek. The guys were the spirts protecting the path to those gifts. The Jab-Jab continues his attempt to entrap man by first learning the secrets of the forbidden then tricking those that venture into the forest into believing that these gifts are not for their benefit but their destruction if they continue. Sometimes in life those in power tend to control the things that should be given freely. They systematically lock those things up behind lies of dire circumstances. Only those who are strong enough to fight will see past the intentional misinformation and misappropriation. That is the 2019 story and message in a nutshell.
So with that I will end this article with the most important part of this year’s festivities. A massive thank you to our revelers is in order. This year you came with pure vibes and true essence of the Carnival season. Everything AlphaWe does aims to tease creative talent, invoke the history of the festivals we support and not the least of which, create a sense of real togetherness. This has always been the underpinning of the connections we make with sponsors and other participating groups. Without that we have tipped the scales towards a dimming of the light our ancestors held bright. This year we dealt with technical difficulties and disruptions of all kinds, but our revelers still found a way to show solidarity through thick and thin.
Each trial is an opportunity for us to show Who We Truly Are and we see you and appreciate you for showing us how many of us still believe in Unity!!! We look forward to 2020 because just for you, we will be turning up the heat!!