OCEAN-LIKE: Nekeisha Phillips shows off her hat, titled, “Under Sea Affairs.”

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Hats off to Carnival

By Kimoy Leon Sing

Gillian Benjamin is the winner of Hyatt Regency’s Crazy Hats Carnival Competition, 2014.
The annual event started indoors last week Friday instead of the usual outdoor setting due to recent fires at the Beetham landfill.
For the past four years the show has taken place on the esplanade on the waterfront of the hotel. This year, however, the ballroom was transformed into a whimsical fantasy land, complete with a stage as competitors vied for the grand prize; a weekend for two at the Hyatt Presidential Suite.
Director of Sales, Hyatt Regency Candy Montano, said she did not want to risk having the event possibly cut short due to fumes.
She noted that even though the day looked great, she wanted the evening’s proceedings to go smoothly.
Colourful, creative and downright humourous are words that can best describe some of the interesting hats that were on display. This year there were seven competitors that really pulled out all the stops to make it into the winner’s circle. Apart from a weekend stay in the Presidential Suite at the Hyatt, there were several other prizes to be had such as two tickets to Lime all inclusive fete and Valentine’s dinner for two at the Hyatt.
The theme for the competition this year was Folklore and Fantasy. There were hats made from cardboard; bits of newspaper, crepe paper and even toilet paper. One of the more popular hats came from Denise Smith from the Caribbean Court of Justice. Her hat was titled, “Canned Cocaine Bust”.
Another crowd favourite came from Sonia Thomas and her hat titled, “Peter Pan’s Fantasy Land”.
Winning the coveted prize, Benjamin from Repsol showed off her hat, titled, “Alice in Wonderland”. Competitors were judged on theme which carried a maximum score of 50 points, creativity 30 points and crowd response which carried 20 points.
Second place was Susan Holland with her hat titled, “Snow White And She Seven Connections” and third was Denise Smith.
Hyatt Regency’s Crazy Hats Carnival party is in its fifth year and is held for its private line members. Private Line is Hyatt’s bookers club that comprises of various companies and organisations.
Despite having the event moved indoors many patrons enjoyed the all-inclusive party type atmosphere. From premium drinks to a wide array of food and desserts, the highlight of the evening was indeed these comical hats. The most popular depiction was Alice in Wonderland. A picture of Alice was substituted for a photo of the Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
As the evening wined down, guests were entertained by the energetic performance of Grenadian born soca star, Hollice Mapp also known as Mr Kill@. There were also performances by Olatunji Yearwood, Destra Garcia and her band.
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