A Review of Hookie Weekend DC 2019

You may have noticed that even after a week, the Hookie DC experience is still being relived through social media pictures and posts. We can’t get it out of our heads! It was an amazing weekend and the perfect lituation to start the summer.

Package Price: $185

Individual prices listed below.

Hookie Life is a team of promoters who brought back a little bit of carnival back to DC several years ago. This year marked their 10th anniversary and the effort was definitely seen and appreciated.

The weekend of events kicked off on Thursday with a welcome fete called “Release Therapy”. I missed it because my flight landed late, but I heard it was a great warmup.

Hookie X

$50, not inclusive


Hookie X, the flagship event of the weekend, has certainly grown in size from previous years and this was reflected in the venue move to Gateway DC. Hookie remains a pool party, therefore there was a large inflatable pool in the middle of the field with cabanas and tables flanked on the sides.

When I tell you it was vibes!!! I can’t emphasize this more. There was a point in the afternoon when I was so grateful I was there (lol) because I was originally not going to go. I ended up playing Hookie as I should!

Pumpa, Nailah Blackman and Kes the Band performed. I was really only present for the KTB performance and what a show it was! It was my favorite Kes performance to date! I wasn’t even fully paying attention but the singing, the energy, the crowd…it was memorable. Make sure you don’t miss it!

Lion’s Pride J’ouvert

$65, drinks inclusive


Let’s just say the stories I had heard previously about j’ouvert were not exaggerated. This party was so much fun! It was drinks-inclusive, and upon entry you received a bottle of paint. We arrived on the late-ish side (around 10am) and did not receive paint but I didn’t care. The sun was beating down on us and I was tipsy all afternoon! I was drinking straight Johnnie on the rocks, feting with my friends, getting dirty and wet and I was goodt!

There were a few things that should be improved upon next year:

  • The bartenders had no clue what they were doing on the drinks truck, and with the size of the crowd, I think we needed more than 1 drink truck.

  • More water please! There should have been ample bottles of water for patrons especially on a 98 degree day.

Overall, this was one of the best j’ouvert events I have attended. A Do Not Miss!

Shine DC

$25, not inclusive


I decided to go to Shine last minute. I woke up from my post-Lion’s Pride nap with the energy to go again, so I ended up at Shine a few hours later. We arrived late and the process to get in was not smooth at all, but when we did, it was a vibe inside. The DJs played a diverse array of music genres and I thoroughly enjoyed it all!

Riddim & Road

$65, drinks inclusive

Who doesn’t love an event where you get an opportunity to rewear a carnival costume? I loved playing around with my costume to see how to mix and match pieces together. No feathers, because I was not prepared to travel with it, but the bodywear alone was freeing.


Riddim & Road was held at Rosecroft Raceway, the same location as Lion’s Pride. This time they utilized drink tickets to gain access to liquor; the drink truck was way more organized and had more bartenders. The crowd was smaller than in the previous Hookie events, and that’s what made it perfect for me. You weren’t fighting for drinks and the people who were there were all engaged and ready to fete. No stush vibes at all! It was wonderful to get a feel of the road by chipping behind a truck in a costume — definitely a great introduction for a new masquerader who may be considering playing mas in a carnival. And at a great price!

Check out my video recap - it will give you a better sense of the littyness. Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Hookie was definitely a worthwhile experience! Not only is DC easily accessible, the affordability of the weekend events is unmatched. Will you join me at Hookie Weekend next year ?

See you at the next carnival!