Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 13th 2018 Contents A7
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Fewer bands in south parade
STORIES BY KEVON FELMINE
With many stakeholders cutting back
on funds this Carnival, there were 11
fewer modern bands participating in
this year’s J’Ouvert celebrations in San
Despite the low number, there
were thousands of masqueraders
flooding the streets with the popular
crews. Absent were many of the small
bands which usually have a capacity
of 20 to 50 members.
There were 32 bands in 2017 as op-
posed to 21 this year, but bands like
Dev’s Barbershop and Limerz Krew
could not fit in front of the judges’ tent
all at once.
The judging point itself was sig-
nificantly smaller this year as it was
moved to the San Fernando West
Constituency Office along Independ-
ence Avenue. In years gone by, the
Rienzi Kirton Highway at the front of
the Southern Academy for Perform-
ing Arts (SAPA) was the stage for mas-
queraders. San Fernando Mayor Junia
Regrello said that set up at (SAPA) was
too expensive for their reduced 2018
Despite the changes, he said Carni-
val in San Fernando was “very alive.”
“There are several bands around,
it’s full of activities and I’m happy and
excited by what I see this morning.
We seem to have a lot of people in
San Fernando. A lot of people from
the rural areas are coming into San
Fernando to participate, to enjoy and
to spectate. We have to do some more
planning to accommodate this crowd
but we’re doing well,” Regrello said.
There were some interesting
themes chosen by some of the bands,
including Generation of Gold’s Emoji
Land which was all about the happy
symbols used on social media.
Friends of Atherly, featuring for-
mer San Fernando mayor Ian Atherly
promoted togetherness with their
presentation of Pirates of Love.
While the fun was evident, there
were some mishaps such as fights
along the crowded Cipero Streets,
where many of the bands got stuck.
Four masqueraders of South Colours
were spared severe injuries when
they were caught by a security rope
and dragged on the road while the
music truck it was attached to drove
Shal Marshall’s Splinters, Machel
Montano’s Soca Kingdom and Show-
time and Patrice Roberts’ Sweet Fuh
Days dominated the J’Ouvert celebra-
tion in San Fernando.
Traditional mas disappearing in Sando
Traditional J’Ouvert in San Fer-
nando almost hit rock bottom yes-
terday as only veteran mas band
Blue Boys registered for the compe-
Apart from three individual mas-
queraders and a mud band that
accompanied Union Hall South-
landers, there wasn’t ole time mas’
for spectators gathered at the Harris
Promenade judging point.
There were, however, sweet steel
pan music from Caribbean Airlines’
Skiffle, who remained on a high
after placing second in the National
Panorama competition on Saturday.
Band leader of Blue Boys, Val
Ramsingh told the T&T Guardian
that tradition mas has been dying
since a former mayor introduced
the modern category to J’Ouvert.
Although his band featured a few
youngsters, he said young people
were no longer interested in tradi-
tional mas and preferred to play in
the modern bands.
“San Fernando has Limerz Krew
with 1,500 people, Dev’s Barber-
shop has 11 trucks and in Blue Boys,
we sold 21 jerseys. Last year we sold
35 jerseys, five years ago we sold
100 jerseys. Understand the pro-
cess we’re talking about. This is not
One must understand the his-
tory of why this has come to past.
Kalypso Revue tent closed down.
Why? Understand that things take
time to be destroyed, things take
time to be built and it is a process.
We used to have seven and eight
tradition J’Ouvert old mas bands.
Where are they today?”
Blue Boys didn’t fail to entertain,
though, as they had the audience in
stitches with their presentation of
Blame it on De PP. From humor-
ous portrayal’s of the A&V Drilling
“fake oil” scandal to Tourism Min-
ister Shamfa Cudjoe’s high roam-
ing charges and Chief Justice Ivor
Archie’s friendship with ex-convict
Dillian Johnson, almost all the hot
topics of the past year were fea-
Deputy mayor Vidya Mungal-Bis-
sessar, who launched the celebra-
tions at 5.30 am, said a greater focus
has to be placed on traditional mas.
Mungal-Bissessar said that as a start,
the judging of tradition mas has re-
turned to the promenade where
there is a niche for that category.
“It will take some time, yes, it
will take some more focus.The
good thing is that we have the live
streams, we have the people shar-
ing on Facebook live, WACK radio
is here so we’re going international
and people are seeing that we’re
back to the old time thing.
I think it will encourage people
again, providing the seating, which
is key. People want somewhere
comfortable and fit to be able to see
everything, look at everything. We
will work out the kinks, but we’re
off to a good start,” Mungal Bisses-
Old Tech Steel Orchestra and
Southern All Stars did their part to
appease pan lovers, but it was Car-
ibbean Airlines’ Skiffle that “raised
the roof ” with their performance of
Kes’ mega-hit Hello.
J’Ouvert players from the band
Limerz Krew with their presentation
Prowling Cheetahs along
Independence Avenue, San
Mud players during J’Ouvert celebrations along Harris Promenade, San Fernando, yesterday. PICTURE TONY HOWELL
Masqueraders from the band South Colours are assisted after they were caught by a security rope and dragged on
the road during J’Ouvert celebrations, yesterday.
PICTURES RISHI RAGOONATH
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