The Ultimate Guide to Vincy Mas (St. Vincent & the Grenadines Carnival)

The History of St. Vincent & the Grenadines Carnival

St. Vincent & the Grenadines Carnival, affectionately referred to as Vincy Mas, is an amalgamation of customs from colonizers, then-enslaved Afro-Vincentians, and the country’s indigenous people. 

Each calendar year, Carnival is packed with parades, dancing, music, costumes and competitions. Vincy Mas includes the Miss St. Vincent Competition, the Soca Monarch Competition, Miss Carnival, the Carnival King and Queen competition, the Junior Pan Fest and j’ouvert. The highlight of Vincy Mas is the Mardi Gras Parade of the Bands, a spectacular event that culminates the entire festival.

Carnival Season & Parade Dates

The 2023 Vincy Mas festival season starts on June 30th and commences on July 11th, the day of the parade. All carnival-related events for 2023 will take place at Victoria Park, Kingstown. 

Arrivals & Departures

When heading to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, you will fly into Argyle International Airport (AIA), which is on the Windward side of the island and approximately 30 minutes from the capital. 


St. Vincent and the Grenadines has wonderful lodging options. Many of these country’s resorts are on several private islands around the mainland such as Petit St. Vincent, Palm Island and Young Island. To be closer to the carnival festivities, opt for more village style accommodations in and around Kingstown where there are lots of great restaurants, bars and beaches. Staying in the country’s capital, Kingstown, will give you a good opportunity to partake in local life. 

Our top five options near the parade route are: 

Local Currency

The currency used in St. Vincent & the Grenadines is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD), though the US dollar is accepted. The currency rate is fixed at US$1 = XCD$2.68 and while most businesses accept international credit and debit cards, many only accept cash.

Getting Around

There are four car rental operators currently at the AIA. Passengers have the option of either pre-booking their rental car and collecting on arrival, or booking a car on site. Renting a car is the most convenient way to travel throughout St Vincent for around XCD$100 or around US$50 USD/ day. You will need to secure a driver’s license from the local police or at the airport on your way in, if you decide to drive. There are also taxis which vary in price depending on the company and length of your route and brightly painted mini-buses that can get you around the island for very cheap around XCD$10 dollars for a far trip and under XCD$3 dollars throughout Kingstown.

Active Bands

The active bands for Vincy Mas in 2023 include:

Can’t Miss Events

Fantastic Friday, WETT, Flair, EVO, Soca Monarch, King and Queen Competition, J’ouvert, T-Shirt Mas, Dimanche Grs, and Mardi Gras. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Road March Experience

You’ll head out early in the morning around 8 a.m. adorned in your costume to meet your band at a designated area. Unlike Trinidad, Vincy Mas has one route: a large lap around Kingstown that also includes crossing the stage in Victoria Park. Most bands have rest stops where you can get food, drink and go to the restroom break. Depending on where you begin your parade, most bands will complete the lap twice by sundown.

The J’ouvert Experience

One of the highlights of Vincy Mas is j’ouvert: a street party that starts in the wee hours of Carnival Monday morning and peaks a few hours after sunrise. Participants cover themselves in homemade costumes, paint, mud and dance through Kingstown. Later in the day there’s the Monday T-Shirt Mas where revelers join their bands in t-shirts and party in the streets into the night.

The Soundtrack of Carnival

Vincentian soca music is what is commonly heard during Vincy mas. Artists like Skinny Fabulous and Problem Child appear on many stages including artists from other Caribbean islands. You’ll also hear the sweet sounds of steelpan and local calypso.

Plainclothes Attendance

If you are not playing mas, you are more than welcome to secure a good spot to watch the parade. Arrive early to find the best vantage spot and ensure a clear view of the festivities. There is seating inside the stadium at Victoria Park where the bands will be crossing, this is the best location to see the costumes and enjoy the music. There is a fee if you would like to sit inside the stadium, you can purchase a ticket at the venue or beforehand at the CDC (Carnival Development Corporation) which is in Victoria Park Stadium.

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