Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 17th 2015 Contents A9
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Fits of laughter were few and
far between along Harris
Promenade, San Fernando,
yesterday, as the usually
comedic J Ouvert ole mas char-
acters failed to capitalise on the
political drama over the last 12
With the many upheavals and
scandals on the political land-
scape one would expect creative
and clever characters for 2015,
but only a handful of the por-
trayals were able to elicit chuck-
les.Luckily, veteran comedian
Tommy Joseph was among the
select handful capturing laughter
from spectators who lined the
promenade. San Fernando
deputy mayor Junia Regrello
declared the festival open at 5
am.Joseph, dressed in full cricket
gear and wicket in tow, portrayed
Lara still breaking records, as he
mimicked cricketing legend
Brian Lara s on field antics.
Spectators clapped and laughed
heartily as Joseph struck invisible
deliveries and spoke to invisible
umpires and players.
After mimicking Lara s sig-
nature batting pose, Joseph
whipped out a handful of music
records and started breaking
them loudly before the judges
panel perched on the newly
refurbished San Fernando band-
stand. Much to the delight of
the spectators, Joseph concluded
his portrayal kneeling and feign-
ing a kiss on the roadway.
Surprisingly, Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar escaped
with light picong, but West
Indies all rounder Lendl Sim-
mons did not as characters
poked fun at his sex scandal.
One of the more popular
characters---UWI student get a
grade from D Play Boyz 2015
presentation Whats App
@T&T---led by David Campbell
also drew laughter yesterday.
The character, dressed in a
white doctor s coat over dirty
clothes and dragging a black
cardboard house behind him,
paraded before the judges.
At first glance it appeared that
he was making comment on the
recent UWI protest by students
demanding the release of their
However, that was not the
case as the character opened the
windows to his house to reveal
shelves of potted plants and the
signs "UWI have high grade ."
He was promptly joined by an
eager crowd of buyers, all of
whom received foil packets.
The portrayals began at 6.41
am with the first individual char-
acter, Ah change in Meh Cabinet,
performed by Tyron Nanan.
Nanan, dressed in a yellow sari,
rummaged through drawers in
his cardboard cabinet/dressing
table and pulled out names of
ministers on pieces of cloth.
Some he crumpled and discard-
ed, others he kissed and folded
San Fernando Carnival Com-
mittee member Walid Baksh said
there was a disruption to the
smooth flow of proceedings.
"We had a little problem with
the generator. It was giving us
It was defective and we could
not have audio. That was the
only problem that we had this
morning (yesterday,)" Baksh said.
Thousands of masqueraders flooded the
streets of San Fernando yesterday making
it the largest showing in recent years.
However, infrastructure for both spec-
tators and masqueraders were lacking as
the promised stage at the National Academy
for the Performing Arts southern judging
point failed to materialise and spectators
had to sit and stand on hot pavements.
Twenty-nine modern, conventional and
earth bands paraded themselves before the
judges along the Rienzi Kirton Highway
yesterday, with many of them sporting more
masqueraders than 2014.
Councillor Robert Parris said many of
the hiccups that occurred last year, which
left more than 13 bands stranded without
being judged, were ironed out this year.
Parris oversaw the celebrations in the
absence of mayor Kazim Hosein and deputy
mayor Junia Regrello.
"From walking around, I noticed a lot of
the bands were pretty big and there were
a lot of people on the streets watching as
well. From my estimation, it seems that
J Ouvert was bigger than last year, the quality
of bands were better than last year and the
bands flowed to the main judging point one
after the other."
"This is also in comparison to the lead-
up to Carnival where some of the events
held at Skinner Park were poorly attended.
I don t know why but the National Panora-
ma finals for small and medium bands were
poorly attended and Chutney Soca Monarch
was also poorly attend. The only thing of
great magnitude was Calypso Fiesta," Parris
He launched the J Ouvert celebrations
around 5 am and The Hott Party began the
show with their presentation of Ebola, which
portrayed revellers having fun in Hazmat
gear. The party really started ten minutes
later when House of Jacqui and Shut Up
and Wine showed off their presentation of
Some of the bands were lacking creativity,
wearing simple T-shirts and shorts, but that
could not be said for the D Image People s
presentation of Burlesques---a raunchy Car-
nival adaptation of the Las Vegas casino
lifestyle. Royalty and Friend s Salute De
General portrayed an eye-teasing alteration
of soldier and navy uniforms. Ballerz and
Associates colourful theme of It s Comical
also created a stir with a portrayal of the
Justice League Superheroes: Batman, Super-
man and Wonder Woman.
Other portrayals included native Indians,
African warriors and sailors.
Bigger southern festival starts Carnival
Snr Supt Cecil Santana said the J'Ouvert
celebrations was one of the safest in years
gone by, with only one minor incident being
dealt with by police. Police were embedded
into some of the bands known to have
fights and had a marked presence at
Broadway---an area known for its annual
Carnival fracas. "Things went as planned,
we had nothing at all except one minor
injury where a man got stabbed in his back.
We had a lot of police outside on patrols,
we had roadblocks and nothing
materialised. We are not taking anything for
granted, though. We will be on the ground
for the next two days. "We have a large
contingent of police officers and we have
the place on lockdown. All officers came out
to work," Santana said. At 11.30 am, police
stopped all music trucks, giving workers
time to clean the streets before Monday
afternoon mas began at 1.45 pm.
A reveller from the J'Ouvert band D Play Boys during yesterday's Ole Mas competition on Harris
Promenade, San Fernando. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
Revellers from the band Ballerz during J'Ouvert
celebration in San Fernando, yesterday.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Pan lovers were only treated to the musical
strains of five bands this year out of the ten that
traditionally played in the annual Bomb
competition. Baksh expressed disappointment
with the poor showing.
"The steelbands did not turn out. Usually we
would have ten bands coming out; we only had
(six) today and I do not know what was the
reason for that. The traditional mas was up to
standard. We had the regular three bands and
only band did not turn up this year was Sugar
Boys," he said.
POOR PAN TURNOUT
Govt escapes unscathed in
South J'Ouvert parade
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