Masqueraders play themselves

STREET PARTY: Masqueraders play themselves at the judgiing point on South Quay, Port of Spain, yesterday. Revellers will come out in more elaborate costumes today. 

IF downtown Port of Spain is any indication yesterday, it’s been a bumper Carnival so far.

Spectator participation in the capital city exceeded expectations, as thick crowds lined South Quay from 8 a.m. to take in the parade of the bands.

The children were also out in their numbers, many with painted faces and the character masks that became popular during the season.

Punctuality appeared to have improved with the bands, as several large bands were able to cross Souht Quay before midday.

Yet again, K2K Alliance wowed with mas that moved like art down the streets, their circus-inspired The Greatest Show drawing appreciation as the band moved with coordinated precision along South Quay.

Massive in numbers, Tribe also swept through downtown like a storm of colour, tightly packed as masqueraders stomped down South Quay.

The Lost Tribe didn’t disappoint with Anansi, and the band’s originality continued to stun with “supernatural” colour combinations borne of African-printed fabrics.

Paparazzi appeared to have boasted an even bigger band this year, presenting spectators with the splendour of Hidden, the costumes of which featured much feathers, beads and swimwear but were also vibrant, well-made and generously appointed.

Samaroo’s Exousia Mas was also a treat, as spectators marvelled that they were able to take in ample amounts of modern and traditional mas - including a few unrestrained individuals - even before the lunch hour.

The hugely popular Ronnie and Caro staged another well-rehearsed crossing of South Quay, with 2020’s The Serengeti.

The pitch was also hot with Iwer George and Kes The Band’s “Stage Gone Bad”, which was for many the obvious choice for Road March 2020.

“It’s Iwer versus Iwer,” said one spectator.

“That’s all we hearing today. There is no competition.”

Minor scuffles, otherwise safe

Jouvert and its aftermath in Port of Spain saw a few minor incidents, police officers on the beat told the Express yesterday afternoon.

The morning period into afternoon was free of any major incidents but police were called to break up several minor scuffles, where no one was reported hurt.

The Express was told that a ban on glass bottles, announced by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith earlier this month, was well-observed yesterday.

“So far, we have probably had two or three instances of people having bottles that they came into town with. However, there was no real labour to be done in that area as the vendors were very compliant,” one officer, stationed at South Quay, told the Express.

The ban went into effect at 4 a.m. yesterday and remains in place until midnight tonight, allowing only licensed sellers, sanitation workers and bans to be in possession of glass bottles in the open.

The police also reported a bumper crowd downtown, with several saying that the numbers seemed higher than in recent years including 2019.

“I think people felt safer this year,” the police officer said. “The Police Service made it clear that we will be very present and very visible in our numbers, and I believe more people came into town today because of that.”

By late afternoon the crowds had begun to peter out, but not before an exciting roll-through by Massy Trinidad All Stars, who last Saturday tied for second place with BP Renegades at the National Panorama 2020 finals.

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