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Carnival lovers going through withdrawal symptoms with the cancellation of Carnival 2021 were treated to the spectacle of traditional Carnival characters at Trincity Mall, Trincity, on Saturday.

Well-loved, nostalgic characters such as Baby Doll, Jab Jab, Gorilla, Dame Lorraine, Sailor, Fancy Sailor and five Moko Jumbies from Junior Bisnath’s Kaisokah School of Arts in San Fernando, greeted, danced and entertained spectators and patrons to Carnival vibes music provided by the Pan-Demonium Steel Orchestra at the farmers’ market in the mall car park, at the entrance and the interior of the mall.

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture & the Arts had a Carnival exhibition in the Micles Atrium, in the mall, highlighting Carnival calypso champions, including the recently departed Singing Sandra.

The face masks worn by patrons as well as the Carnival characters, who carried signs reminding people to wear masks and sanitise their hands were stark reminders of the grim reality of the COVID-19 pandemic and the health and safety protocols required.

Speaking to Sunday Guardian, the mall’s marketing officer, Lisa Young-Wing said “Trincity Mall in affiliation with Farm Fresh Foods is having a farmers market. We’ve been holding the event since July 2019, and this is the first event for the year.

“Because of the time of the year (the Carnival season), we decided to add a little local flavour with a rhythm section and local Carnival characters. Our customers are into the season that we’re not having, but more safely and comfortably, adhering to all COVID-19 health and safety regulations.”

She said normally every year for Carnival, up to 2020, the mall would host pre-Carnival events. This year all activities will be in keeping with COVID-19 rules and regulations.

Aaron Bull, the co-owner Farm Fresh Foods said the pop-up market place started off as a farmers’ market and gradually included local crafts and artisans.

He said every two weeks local vendors and small businesses were given the opportunity to showcase their products in these difficult COVID-19 times when many businesses were closing down.