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Confusion continued late yesterday over
whether party bands---Tribe, Yuma, Bliss, Passion
and Harts---which were granted an exclusive route
for Carnival Tuesday, will be allowed to cross
the big stage at the Queen s Park Savannah, Port-
After a late meeting yesterday, a new agreement
was reached to allow the Socadrome bands to re-
join the parade route up to Cipriani Boulevard
after they leave the Jean Pierre Complex, but they
still cannot cross the main stage at the Savannah.
A National Carnival Commission (NCC) release
said a last-minute meeting managed to reverse
an earlier decision not to allow non-competing
bands to rejoin the normal parade route. Sent out
close to 6 pm yesterday, it said the police agreed
to a concession and the extended route will allow
bands to leave the Socadrome and parade on Tra-
garete Road and Ariapita Avenue toward their mas
However, the organisers of the Socadrome said
yesterday that the bands have not totally ruled
out crossing the Savannah stage, which is seen as
the ultimate goal of masqueraders. They said,
however, that they would allow the bands actually
competing in the Parade of the Bands competitions
priority in crossing the main judging point.
KHARA PERSAD AND KALIFA CLYNE
President of the National Carnival Bands Asso-
ciation (NCBA) David Lopez has warned junior
bandleaders not to stray from the designated
Port-of-Spain route today, or they will face dis-
This comes after Port-of-Spain mayor Raymond
Tim Kee on Thursday invited bands in Junior
Parade to begin at the downtown judging point
at South Quay, despite a decision by the NCBA
that the parade would start at Adam Smith Square
During a press conference at the NCBA office
on Picton Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, Lopez
was adamant that all the bands parading today
must start at Adam Smith Square on Ariapita
Avenue, and proceed directly to the Queen s Park
Last week, Woodbrook residents circulated a
petition opposing the NCBA s decision to begin
the route at Adam Smith Square. The residents
argued that changing the starting point from Port-
of-Spain to Woodbrook would be unfair to children
travelling from outside the city.
Addressing concerns raised about bands coming
from "deep south" yesterday, Lopez said arrange-
ments had been made with the Public Trans-
portation Service Corporation (PTSC) so that chil-
dren would be picked up at City Gate and
transported to Carlos Street.
He also addressed the wind issues along the
new parade route raised by junior bandleader Ros-
alind Gabriel, saying, "Once you on the parade
route, at some point in time we going to face the
wind, and at some point in time the wind is going
to be on their back."
Gabriel going downtown
In response to yesterday s NCBA announcement,
Gabriel said she was not at all afraid, or surprised
by Lopez s statements.
"He is all about victimisation, scare tactics, and
being vindictive," she said by phone.
"We have an approved police route, which
includes Port-of-Spain, and we are sticking to it.
How can he disqualify people who are sticking
to an approved police route?"
Gabriel said her band would still start at the
downtown judging point today.
Mayor: NCBA nonsense
Tim Kee also responded to the Lopez s state-
ments, saying it was completely nonsensical.
"It is not within his remit to say our route is
illegal, he can only be advised by what the police
say," Tim Kee said by phone yesterday.
He said Lopez also had no right to threaten to
disqualify bands for not following the NCBA route.
Tim Kee said it was unfair that the children
would have to face the wind and sun while walking
east along Ariapita Avenue.
"It s unreasonable to have children walk that
way," Tim Kee said.
He said the parade was about the children, and
not running from competition to competition for
the financial benefit of bandleaders.
THE EARLIER BAN
SPECIAL EXTENDED ROUTE FOR CARNIVAL
A release issued earlier yesterday by the
NCC outlined a specific route, also outside of
the traditional route, but which also excluded
the Savannah stage.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Earl
Gonzales said the bands would not be
following the traditional route and so would
not be allowed to rejoin the parade once they
have left the Socadrome. Instead, the bands
could move west on Ariapita Avenue. (See
That decision was taken at a meeting on
Thursday to finalise plans for the route for the
Parade of the Bands on Carnival Monday and
NCC chairman Allison Demas, Gonzales,
Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen
Ramsubhag, chairman of the National
Operations Centre Mervyn Richardson and
Sam Lewis, from the National Carnival Bands
Association (NCBA), met with other security
stakeholders and bandleaders.
According to the release, Gonzales asked the
bands to comply, as it was the condition upon
which they were granted the new
The earlier NCC release yesterday said each
band will be assigned React (Radio Emergency
Associated Communications Team) officers to
monitor their movements. There will be 220
road marshals, ten route managers and ten
assistants, identified by maroon T-shirts and
fluorescent orange vests monitoring the
The NCBA's Lewis urged bandleaders to
comply with directives.
Tuesday 8 am-4 pm:
INTO THE SOCADROME:
• Bands will move west along Queen's Park
West from Victoria Avenue, continuing west
along St Clair Avenue to Roxy Roundabout
• South on Damian Street and Taylor Street
• West on Ariapita Avenue onto Maraval
Parkway, entering the Hasely Crawford
Stadium through the Castro Gate
• Anti-clockwise around the Hasely Crawford
Stadium into the Jean Pierre Complex.
OUT OF THE SOCADROME:
• After crossing the stage, bands will exit onto
• North along Hamilton Holder Street
• East onto Ariapita Avenue and Park Street
to Green Corner
• Westward along Tragarete Road, then up
Cipriani Boulevard and onward to their mas
NCBA: Junior bands
must stay on route
strike a pose
PIERROTS AT PLAY
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