In his chapter in this volume ("Carnival (theory) after Bakhtin"), Richard Schechner identified "hybridity, competition, hierarchy, inversion, and playing on the world stage" as central aspects of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. In so doing, he differentiated between so-called democratic and non-democratic societies, past and present concepts of play, and cultures with a cosmic sense of the ludic and those without. Such distinctions are basic to understanding the function of festivity in general and carnival in particular in any given society. By examining what carnival affirms rather than what it negates and focusing on its essentially urban nature, both as a European pre-Lenten festival and as an African-influenced celebratory ritual throughout the Americas and especially in Trinidad, this essay augments Schechner's argument.