SORT officers walk along South Quay, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

Any nervousness or fear masqueraders and spec­ta­tors alike may have had going to the Pic­cadil­ly Street (the Greens), Port-of-Spain judging point to play and watch mas were allayed by the heavy po­lice presence at the venue and down­town Port-of-Spain yes­ter­day.

Anyone wanting to cause trouble would have had to breach the police motorcycle and vehicle checkpoint at the corner of Queen Street before the bands crossed in front the judges on the southern side and the manned police barricades, with police inspectors and also members of the T&T Fire Service.

Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young and Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith, ac­com­pa­nied by security and law enforcement heads and a squad of tac­ti­cal po­lice dressed in hel­mets, balaclavas and green BDUs (Bat­tle Dress Uni­forms) and shadow grey uniforms, al­so passed through the route bolstering the public’s confidence in the safety of Pic­cadil­ly Street.

There were police vehicle patrols through the city streets and at least two police officers were at a corner.

National Carnival Commission (NCC) Chairman Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters visited the venue with other commission officials and addressed the public and officials briefly also reassuring them that patrons’ safety was paramount and it was shaping up to be a very successful Carnival.

While “Las Lap” was still to occur in the night, even at midday in the Road March race, four-time Pow­er So­ca Monarch and 2020 In­ter­na­tion­al So­ca Monarch winner Neil “Iw­er” George’s smash hit Stage Gone Bad appeared to be a for­gone con­clu­sion.

He is also a contender for the number two spot as part of the trio of Machel Montano, Skinny Fabulous and Iwer George with the heraldic Conch Shell and Lyrikal’s Rukshun in third place.

Entertainer cum Carnival band leader Kerron Sealey, aka Sunny Bling, blended the two roles informing the judges and spectators that his band Have ah Time and its portrayal The Spirit of Carnival was an organic band that grew every year and beads and feathers mas was not the spirit of Carnival, but it was the joy of the people jumping up for the Carnival.

The band crossed to Stage Gone Bad played first, then Conch Shell.

Adrenaline City’s Caribbean Unity Queen almost spanned the width of the road but she manoeuvred her costume like a veteran.

Outrageously Community Development Band did a choreographed dance before the judges with eight female dancers and one teenage male dancer.