IT was a late start to Carnival in San Fernando but when the bands did come out at about noon on Tuesday, it was an explosion of colour, sequinned costumes, and feathers.
There were not much spectators at the start, but they crowds filled out as the day progressed.
National Security Minister Stuart Young and San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello were out observing the festivities.
Young assured that San Fernando Carnival was safe as activities were being monitored remotely.
“We are using technology so even from Port of Spain, we are monitoring San Fernando via CCTV cameras and drones. There is also a helicopter,” he told reporters.
He said while it was safe and secure from a security standpoint, people’s behaviour, especially when under the influence of alcohol, made the situation fluid.
For his part, he enjoyed what the south land had to offer.
“Port of Spain has become so big that a lot people just want to flock there. But the great thing about south mas is its traditional mas like the Indian costumes. Let’s continue like that.”
Regrello also praised the decision to move the judging point from Harris Promenade to High Street.
“We are bringing back mas to the inner city. The road is wider for the masquerades and we do not have to deal with disturbing the hospital any more,” he said.
“We must commend the masquerades and the band leaders for their passion and their commitment to the art form in making sure carnival alive in San Fernando,” he added.
Crossing the stage first was the portrayal of Untamed Territory produced by Jagessar Costumes.
Band producer Lionel Jagessar Jr said while the band numbers were not as impressive like last year’s, the love for culture was the reason they to continued production.
“Jagessar Costumes does it for the love of it. We do it for the city and for the people of San Fernando. It is not for profits but to make sure the city’s parade is perfect.”
Southern Mas Associates was next with their portrayal of Dancing Native Spirits.
Kalicharan Carnival followed with sections depicting local words such as palance, wotless, ramajay, pumpin’ and issa vybe.
The last band to cross the stage was Fireworks Carnival with its portrayal of Fantasies Fairytales.
Spectator Andrew Habib, like many others, said he was disappointed with the late start of the show and parade of the bands.
“Mas in San Fernando has stagnated. There are too many changes every year and yet nothing has successfully worked to boost the city’s Carnival.
“I hope the future of our Carnival is not lost because the authorities are not doing enough to promote it.”
The three most popular songs played were Iwer and Kees Dieffenthaller’s Stage Gone Bad, Iwer and Machel Montano’s Conch Shell and Lyrial’s Rukshun.
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