Winston “Gypsy” Peters

‘WE CAN DO IT’: Winston “Gypsy” Peters

“Doh be surprise if we have Carnival 2022.”

Those hopeful lyrics, in extemporaneous verse, from National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman and calypsonian Winston “Gypsy” Peters, boomed out from Miami carnival and reverberated throughout the creative core in Trinidad and Tobago last weekend.

Peters is in Miami to observe the staging of the festivities during the ongoing pandemic. Performing at Miami carnival’s Panorama on Friday, the NCC boss told a vocal crowd at Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds: “If allyuh could do that true, believe we could do it too.”

Gypsy sang on a video circulated across social media yesterday:

“Ah put aside all de trouble/When Miami did form deh bubble

And when dey do that is plain to see/Now dey have Carnival for all ah we

Everybody jumpin’ up/Dis ting look like it going non-stop

Dais de way it should be/Ah taking it back to my country

If allyuh could do that true/Believe we could do it too

So I telling you doh be surprise if we have Carnival 2022.”

Speaking with i95.5FM yesterday, Peters said he intends to file a report on his observations at Miami carnival with the Ministry of Culture since he believes: “what was happening here (Miami) is something we can do in Trinidad and Tobago.

“I am going to do a report, that is my duty. My report is going to say that it’s something I believe the National Carnival Commission can in fact do. And I think this will help in a lot of ways to encourage people to be vaccinated. This can be a big vaccination drive, because people in T&T love their Carnival and we can in fact do it, I believe that we can,” Peters said.

Minister: A serious decision

However, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell said the staging of Carnival 2022 is not as straightforward a proposition as Peters purports and remains “a serious decision”.

“The decision to host a Carnival in the way and form that it is traditionally held is a decision that is a very serious one considering that we are still in the throes of the pandemic. At the appropriate time, I expect that the honourable Prime Minister (Dr Keith Rowley) would make an announcement considering Carnival 2022,” Mitchell told the Express during a WhatsApp exchange yesterday.

“That decision, like all such other decisions, would be based on the best medical advice and other relevant factors such as vaccination rates, rates of infections, hospitalisations, etc. At this point, we continue to encourage people to become vaccinated because it is only through vaccination we can hasten the move back to life as close to normal as it was pre-Covid,” the minister added.

And NCC chief executive officer Colin Lucas said the Carnival body is ready to act to stage the annual festival within the parameters outlined by the State and its medical advisers.

“We are ready to respond to whatever the science puts at us. By the science I mean the trajectory and new variants, whatever happens and the Government decision on how to handle Carnival 2022,” Lucas said during a WhatsApp call.

“In the event we get the go-ahead, it was good for the NCC to get that report from the ground. Yes, we have the biggest Carnival and we are the mecca, but this (staging Carnival during the pandemic) is new ground for everybody. This is a new situation, and we have to adapt.”


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