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TUCO president Lutalo Masimba

PETER CHRISTOPHER

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The Parade of Bands will not be hitting the road, but the Road March will be adjudicated online.

The Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) confirmed plans to advance the traditional Road March competition via virtual means for 2021 via a partnership with telecommunications provider bmobile.

In a press release yesterday, TUCO confirmed that a grand prize of $100,000 will be up for grabs for the road march despite there not be a staging of the Carnival parade this year due to Public Health restrictions.

Voting for the competition will commence on February 1 and end on February 16, with votes being accepted from both bmobile and Digicel platforms as well as from international mobile numbers, “to allow members of the diaspora to also register their vote” the release confirmed.

The Road March has been held annually since 1932 and prior to this arrange was in danger of being cancelled for the first time since World War II, when Carnival was cancelled.

TUCO president Lutalo Masimba said this was a logical evolution for the competition platform.

“It’s a very important project for us in TUCO and our steps towards doing something different to make sense of this new normal. We always aim to be proactive and this is a very important relationship for us with bmobile and our new marketing management team. For the artistes, it’s very important to continue to have a forum for them to share their work.”

The TUCO president said the Online Road March also brings a new era of participation allowing citizens to really have their opinion heard and allows a new era of appreciation. “We moving forward, we looking nice and feeling good; once there is music – we will be alright.”

The announcement of the Road March comes days after confirmation that another Carnival event, the International Soca Monarch would also be held despite Trinidad and Tobago Carnival being officially cancelled by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kes and Iwer George are the reigning Road March champions, after the captured the crown with the runaway hit “Stage Gone Bad”.