YESTERDAY’S Jouvert celebration in downtown Port of Spain was a charming, traditional affair complete with, “ole mas,” and risque political statements some of which teetered so close to the edge that the announcer of the presentations was heard saying, “I am not repeating that nah. I don’t have court clothes.”
Uptown Jouvert was an entirely different affair.
Massive crowds, large bands and with much, much more people than downtown Port of Spain, the police were kept quite busy managing large amounts of men and women with money in their pockets, alcohol in their blood-streams and very few limits.
The, “ole mas,” focussed mostly on politics and news of the day such as the Virginia cocaine bust.
It appeared that Farmer Nappy’s (Darryl Henry) rendition, “Big People Party,” was a hit with the downtown Jouvert crowd. It’s relatively slower tempo seemed much more easy to chip to than the other more fast-paced soca songs.
Adding to the charm of downtown mas were the mud bands some of which appeared to have rehearsed especially for the stage in what appeared to be a drunken sing-along. They did not win anything but they seemed to have a lot of fun.
In uptown Port of Spain, namely Ariapita Avenue and Tragarate Road, large bands of muddied, painted and oil soaked revellers ruled the road and it was woe unto the motorist that dared to pass through. If he or she was not extremely polite they were fed the rage of the revellers and ended up with very dirty cars and a bruised ego. Veterans to the mas however knew that the only way to deal with revellers is very politely which resulted in minimum paint and mud.
Police were seen zipping around dealing with various reports of violence which were mostly fist fights which ended seconds after they started. Some revellers both costumed and un-costumed complained about the loud police sirens but when fights were seen being parted by these officers the complaints stopped.
“Them real wukkin yes,” said one woman.