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NCC chief: We're ready for Carnival

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

"WE are ready for the road".

This was the statement made by chairman of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) Allison Demas yesterday as she sought to assure that things were in place for a smooth Carnival.

Speaking yesterday during a news conference at the VIP Lounge of the Queen's Park Savannah, Demas addressed several of the issues that have proven to be sore points for Carnival celebrations over the years.

Demas said the official parade route for Carnival this year will "more or less" remain the same as last year with the exception of a couple changes.

"Bands will proceed south on St Vincent Street and north on Charlotte Street," Demas said.

"The area from Keate Street to the track of the Queen's Park Savannah will be a sterile area, for costumed masqueraders only," she said.

A fence is being constructed on the northern side of the entrance to the stage to help the process.

"This measure is in an effort to reduce congestion at the entrance to the Savannah stage. Authorised Savannah vendors and spectators will be accommodated in designated areas," Demas said.

A "scientific approach" is being used to address the issue of congestion and the parade route, she said.

"It has also become clear to me through the various consultations that we need to adopt a scientific approach to see how we can really deal with congestion and establish mas on the move," Demas said.

"And towards that end the NCC is commissioning a study which will be done by specialist in transport engineering and we hope that we will be able to implement their recommendations for Carnival 2014," she said.

Demas said the NCC has made special efforts to improve the comfort of masqueraders and participants in Carnival competitions and events at the Queen's Park Savannah.

In terms of toilet facilities, Demas said the NCC intends to put in place 60 units "specifically for masqueraders entering and leaving the Savannah".

The toilets will have security and ongoing cleaning, she said.

There will also be another 140 units for patrons and vendors.

"Three hundred units will be placed at competition venues and strategic locations along the Parade Route for both masqueraders and the general public," she said.

For the artistes, the NCC built a structure with air-conditioned dressing rooms, which can facilitate as many as 60 artistes at any one time along with 30-40 supporting cast members.

The building has also been outfitted with a "green room" and "executive toilet facilities". See Page 16

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