It’s not very often that a fete or an event lives up to the hype. Keeping this in mind, I entered D Original Vale Vibe Breakfast Party with an open mind, slightly anxious to see what has made this fete one of the most sought after Carnival parties. Held on Amethyst Avenue in Diamond Vale, Vale Vibe is a blocko type fete that also utilises the Wendy Fitzwilliam Park that is located on the street. A champagne and wine bar greeted patrons upon entry to the park that also housed a variety of food tents serving bake and shark and crab and dumpling among other dishes.
By five am people were filtering in, the seasoned ones dressed casually knowing fully well, as comedienne Nikki Crosby told us, that Vale turns into J’Ouvert as the morning wears on. The music was pumping; people were greeting each other and lining up for food. Sheltered from the morning sun under a tree, shades on, I scoped the scene. Fresh Prince alum Alphonso Ribeiro took a knock with a riddim section in front of us. Nearby my husband’s primary school friend who he hadn’t seen in years was jumping up with his wife, who told us they had one rule: you could wine with anyone as long as it lasted no more than 30 seconds. All around us there were people we knew: university friends, colleagues from work and sundry other folk, many who were returning residents who never miss a Vale fete. One thing certainly lived up to the hype - this was truly a fete where everybody knew everybody.
After walking through the entire length and breadth of the park, we headed to the street, outside the house where it all began. Here was the centre of all the action. Iwer George was on the rooftop urging people to agree that he got robbed at Soca Monarch again, while patrons, some stripped down to bikini tops and shorts, bathed in the front lawn under a hose that was being sprayed on those gathered there. The pavement was a muddy mess but who cared? People jumped and danced as Iwer descended to take the hose and spray them himself. Kerwin Du Bois joined the action soon after, adding to the extra hype. Wendy Fitzwilliam, looking glam in a short jumper and ridiculous heels, and newly engaged couple Anya Ayoung Chee and Wyatt Gallery were among those in the fray.
Metro photographer David Wears fearlessly maneuvered the water with his waterproof camera snapping happily the entire time. One factor that no doubt added to the joy so many had on their faces was the very visible security officers that were patrolling the fete. We certainly felt more secure seeing them around. At 11 am, weary but happy partygoers started filing out as the music shut off, signaling the end to a very enjoyable party. We lingered a bit, watching them leave, muddied, wet, sweaty, disheveled but happy.
Yes, D Original Vale Vibe Breakfast Party did live up to the hype.