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It’s February, and a couple of friends are on their way to Trinidad for the carnival. What makes for a great carnival? Living in west London, and having seen ours evolve from chaotic and lively to dully over-regulated, I’ve often wondered.

My conclusions: carnival is good when the number of participants isn’t grossly outweighed by the number of spectators, and when it’s easy for the “spectators” to join in (dancing and singing along). Carnival is good when the participants exhibit a range of skills from the absolutely minimal to the absolutely astonishing (the first being an invitation not to be…

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