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Kiddies prance in the rain

Sunday, February 15, 2015
These umbrellas came in handy for young masqueraders from the San Fernando Girls’ RC school as they paraded during the Kiddies Carnival at Skinner Park, San Fernando, yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

Though rains pelted from the skies and spectators ran for shelter, hundreds of children followed Machel Montano’s instruction and partied ‘Like a boss’ during the annual San Fernando City Corporation Kiddies Carnival celebrations yesterday. 

The parade began under brilliant sunshine at Mon Repos, where 15 bands gathered to participate in the school and non-school categories. However, by noon when the first band Eccles Village Anglican School crossed the stage at Skinner Park with its portrayal of Myths and Mysteries, the weather changed. The El Dorado gold section as well as the Unicorns, who wore pink, yellow and gold, were drenched.

Lionel Jagessar’s large band arrived at the judging point half an hour later with a portrayal of the Iroquois, Saratoga, Oneida, Tuscarona, Onandaga and Southern Woodland tribes which live along the Mohawk River. They were followed by the House of Jacqui’s presentation of Dis is Mas.Similar to other portrayals, this band focused on all the aspects of T&T’s culture, including its cosmopolitan people, sports and music. 

Vanessa West’s costume, titled “ Ganges Meets the Nile,” and Ricardo Albert’s portrayal of  “T&T the Land of Oil and Music” wowed the spectators. The Bahai Girls, Ras Mas and Flag Party sections, as well as the Soca Warriors crew enjoyed their jump up on the stage, which became flooded with colour and waving flags.

But as this band left, winds and rains again began pounding the stage, causing technical crews to hurriedly cover their equipment with tarpaulin. However, the music never stopped and the fourth band, Yo Ho Ho and a Barrel of Rum, flowed freely with pirates waving their shiny plastic machetes in time with Destra’s Lucy.

The San Fernando Girls’ Anglican came next and also partied in the rain doing a portrayal of T&T in its Splendid Glory. Depicting the Spanish, French, Chinese, African and East Indian influence on T&T culture, the students gave the spectators a lesson in history. At 2.30 pm, Taniz’s Unique Gems arrived at the park, soaked but happy. Kalomi Marshall, who was dressed in a genie costume, vowed to grant wishes. The five-section band portrayed T&T’s sweet music, sunshine, wealth, diversity and culture.

Co-ordinator Walid Baksh said the 2015 portrayals were of a high standard compared to previous years. “Mas makers are investing more in Carnival so the creativity and standards are very high. We are trying to improve the quality of mas in San Fernando,” Baksh said. However, some patrons said  the SFCC should have set up more disposable toilets for the children as well as covered street seating for spectators.

“People love to watch mas but the city needs to cater for this and provide the necessary facilities,” one spectator said. Some of the bands are expected to return to the streets today and tomorrow.


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