More spectators but fewer masqueraders gathered on the streets of San Fernando on Carnival Tuesday as 11 bands particpated in the city’s Parade of the Bands.
As promised by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, police officers were seen manning every street corner as they regulated a smooth flow of traffic.
Family-led band Jagessar Costumes was the first to appear at the judging point on High Street at 12:17 pm, with its 2020 Carnival portrayal titled Untamed Territory.
Dancing to the soca hit Conch Shell, Jagessar Sr performed the famous Indian chant before the various sections gave in to the revelry.
At 1:14 pm, Southern Mas Associates came before the judges with its portrayal of Dancing Native Spirit.
This was followed by a well-choreographed portrayal of Ivan Kallicharan’s Street Jam which paid tribute to the colloquial dances evolving out of Trinbagonian Carnival over the years. The seven sections featured Issa Vybz, Monster Wine, Palance, Wotless, Melee, Pumpin and Ramajay and like Jagessar’s Costumes, the masqueraders gyrated to Conch Shell.
Kes and Iwer George’s soca-hit Stage Gone Bad blared throughout High Street when Fireworks Promotions presented their portrayal of Fantasies and Fairytales.
The presentation explored the role of popular myths, legends and fairy tales including Peter Pan’s Neverland, Phoenix, Heroes, Matoaka, Beastly, Dracarys and Wakanda.
By 4 pm, the street became enshrouded in white when the sailors from White and Powder 2020 galavanted up the street in a spectacular display of power.
“It’s nice to see so many people doing sailor mas in San Fernando this year,” Mayor Junia Regrello remarked in an interview with Guardian Media. He said San Fernando Carnival should be the catalyst for a revitalization of traditional mas across the country. However, Regrello said he noticed a decline in the numbers of masqueraders this year. Even Jagessar Costumes reported about 75 fewer masqueraders compared to last year.
Regrello said the country was going through a tough economic period but he was certain that the project scheduled for the city will bring about economic revitalisation. He called on business owners to support San Fernando Carnival.
However, president of the Greater San Fernando Area Chamber of Commerce (GSACC) Kiran Singh said he was disappointed that wrecking continued on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Saying this had discouraged participation in San Fernando Carnival, Singh said he wanted a revisitation of this next year.
By 4 pm, Just Illusions’s Exotic Realm led by bandleader Ronald Taylor appeared before the judges.
Minister of National Security Stuart Young who toured the streets of San Fernando said he was pleased with the San Fernando Mas. Like in Port-of-Spain, Young said the glass bottle ban was working well.
He said the Ministry was using technology to monitor all aspects of T&T Carnival to ensure that masqueraders were safe.
Saying he was thrilled with the traditional mas, Young said, “The great thing about south mas is its traditional mas. The San Fernando mas is beautiful and seeing this old traditional mas is good because the younger generations could get a chance to look at it.”
This year, a total of eleven Carnival bands registered for the parade of the bands in south. All of the bands turned down their music as promised when they passed by the San Fernando Teaching Hospital and the San Fernando General Hospital.