AS one parent put it yesterday: "Mas is still alive, in Kiddies' Carnival!"
The Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society's Northern Branch Children's Carnival 2012 was a treat again this season, with hundreds of the nation's youngsters keeping the culture going with vibrant portrayals of a mix of traditional mas and new ideas.
This is not the place to find scant costumes and a profusion of feathers.
Rather, here could be seen the bats, devils, sailors, jumbies and Kings and Queens of old civilisations, in splendid colour and presented with heart.
Yesterday's Junior King title was taken by Jeremy Gomes with his portrayal, "Tit for Tat, Splish for Splash".
The Queen award was given to Mackenzie Penco portraying "Savannah Sunset", from Gerard Kelly Children's Carnival.
The Large Bands title was won this year by "Jammin to D Beat", from Lisa Mollineau, with second place going to Gerard Kelly's 'D' Savannah' and third to Rosalind Gabriel's "50 Years Gold".
The show got off to a timely start just after 9 a.m. and most bands were ready to cross the stage on time.
There were no incidents and the youngsters fared well through the heat of the day—with only a few babies, carried by their parents, crying for the relative cool and calm of the stands.
Bands drew on local and foreign culture, and even on the wilds and the one of smallest entities among us, as in the case of Success Laventille Secondary School's "D Ants Hole".
OiCan Creations' "Bring out the Clowns" was an explosion of confectionery colour and even featured a "clown car".
Another crowd favourite—and clearly a hit with the children of the band itself, was "Our Superheroes" from Auntie Suzie. Sections featured Supermen and Batmen, much to delight of the children in costume, who took to jumping, flying and even a little mock battle for the judges.
Keeping it patriotic and striking in red, white and black was the Eckel Village AC School, with "Dance T&T Dance".
With dozens of children wrapped in the national colours, the crossing seemed from a distance to be the passage of an undulating flag that resembled a magic carpet in the national colours.
Most parents who spoke to the Sunday Express said they were happy with the organisation this year, which they felt was better than in previous years.
"It is always well done but sometimes there are mix-ups and issues with facilities not being enough but everything went very nicely this year," said mother of two, Renee Faustin, who journeyed from Sangre Grande for her children to take part.
There was no shortage of spectators either, as scores of parents brought their kids to enjoy the show, coming from as far as Cedros.
"It's once a year for the kids," said Ramone Singh of Cedros.
"I don't mind making the trip once a year for them. We came here with a few families and the children love the show. It was even better this year. The costumes were very well done and the show was very organised."
The children from Cedros certainly agreed.