BEAUTY queens, ministers, monarchs and magistrates were among thousands of citizens who crossed the “Big Stage” at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain yesterday.
The majority of them did so with the sound of Machel Montano’s “Ministry of Road (MOR)” accompanying them.
The first band to cross the Savannah stage yesterday was Harts.
Harts, which was also among five bands involved in the new venue dubbed “Socadrome” at the Jean Pierre Complex in Woodbrook, crossed the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) Parade of the Bands main stage at around 8 a.m.
NCBA president David Lopez said his organisation was raring to go since 7 a.m.
Lopez said there was a “smooth flowing of the bands” as the majority stuck to the rules concerning time allotted on the stage.
“Just one or two bands went over their allotted time and, surprisingly, those are the small and medium bands,” he said.
Lopez said all the large bands stuck to the allotted time.
“What is important to mention here is that the band leaders or their road managers are coming and watching at the clock and asking the time and working the stage with their masqueraders with the time.”
Lopez said there are rules and regulations to every competition and expressed pleasure that bands complied with them.
Former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam was one of the first masqueraders to cross the Savannah stage.
Around 10.55 a.m., National Security Minister Gary Griffith and an entourage of who’s who in terms of law enforcement crossed the stage.
They did so without music, wining or chipping.
They got some scattered applause from the patrons in the Grand Stand after the prompting of the MC.
Montano, the self-proclaimed Minister of the Road and this year’s Power Soca Monarch winner, crossed the stage several minutes later with Fantasy Carnival.
The applause flowed freely once Montano was recognised.
Senior Magistrate Lucina Cardenas-Ragoonanan and her husband also crossed the stage.
Trinidad and Tobago’s first Miss Universe, Janelle “Penny” Commissiong, crossed with Vie the Rise of the Sanctuary.
Around 12.23 p.m., Chutney Soca Monarch Kris Persad, better known as “KI”, crossed the stage with Trini Revellers.
Up to press time, Montano’s “Ministry of Road” was the song of choice for the majority of bands crossing the judging point.