San Fernando Mayor Kazim Hosein has promised an end to the usual late start to Jouvert celebrations in the city.
And bands crossing the stage late may soon be penalised, he said yesterday.
Hosein said, “It is not part of our culture to start at 5.50 a.m. when we are supposed to start at 4 a.m. And next year as chairman of the committee for Carnival I will ensure we start on time. Judges I want to remind you that we should start on time. We have visitors and spectators from all over and thousands are eager to participate in meaningful and colourful portrayals of contemporary and traditional mas.”
San Fernando West MP Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan said the late start to Jouvert has always caused problems for Carnival Monday celebrations. “I think we have to look at ways how we can give incentives for the players to come out earlier on the Monday,” she said.
Hosein declared the proceedings opened around 5.50 a.m. to a few spectators gathered at the main judging point at Harris Promenade.
Police said the crowd was the smallest recorded in recent years.
The seizure of 732 pounds of cocaine concealed in cans bearing labels of Trinidad Orange and Grapefruit juices at the Port of Norfolk in Virginia, USA, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s break-up with former government minister Jack Warner and the People’s National Movement internal elections were some of the issues dealt with during the Jouvert celebrations.
Just a few bands had crossed the stage by midday leaving spectators to dance to the songs played on loud speakers at locations throughout the streets.
The first traditional ole mas crossed the judging point at 6.05 a.m., when Tyrone Nanan of Princes Town portrayed “Bas Riding with Jack”. He was followed by another individual Wayne Poliah, who portrayed “Kamla Refuse to Take De Bait, Prakash Want to Take De Bait”.
The first band to cross the stage was De Blue Boys with its presentation “Anthicks in TnT”. The band has been in existence for 32 years and has been a winner of the San Fernando Ole Mas competition 28 times with its many creative portrayals.
This year the masqueraders portrayed “Griffith Cyar Hold He Thong”, “Moonilal want to be on TOP, but he cyar find he PP”, “Ah Cyar Find Meh MP....2015 Ah Find Meh MP”, “Only Bleaching Cream Can Change Rowley”, “Kobolalsingh Protecting He Crabs”, “Coke and Orange Can Cause Big Bust” and “New High Commissioner For China” among others.
The band’s almost hour-long presentation also paid tribute to San Fernando heroes in Carnival – extempo champion Brian London, Carnival Queen Peola Marchan and Carnival King Wade Madray
Traditional masquerader David Sammy portrayed “Ah Loss Meh State Board” because of false credentials.
D’ Play Boyz presentation also featured portrayals of Government ministers including Persad-Bissessar and Chaguanas West MP Warner. The masqueraders held up placards which read “Even Bottles Green”, “Jack Lying Low”, “Kamla Can’t Find She Jack”, “FIFA sharing money”, Coke in Orange Juice Can” among others.
Defending champion Phillip Montano and Friends presented “Breaking News” with portrayals of “Ian Alleyne Getting Wetting after Wetting”, “ILP mash up COP”, “Coke Found in Belly”, “Prakash Have no Balls” and “Coke Found in Grapefruit and Orange Tins”.
The characters also portrayed “Penny Throw Her Hat In The Ring” and “Pasta Coffee Playing for a PP Cabinet”.
By midday ten steelbands had crossed the stage in the bomb competition. Among the bands were defending champions Skiffle Bunch Steel Orchestra, Old Tech Steel Orchestra, Southern Marines Steel Orchestra, Pan Elders Steel Orchestra.
Mayor Hosein congratulated Pan Elders for winning the medium band category in the Panorama 2014.
Security was tight at the four judging points – Harris Promenade, High Street, Coffee Street and at the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA) south campus.