"Caribbean neighbours are bringing nice Caribbean vibes."
So said National Carnival Commission (NCC) Chief Executive Officer Colin Lucas, who has been busy preparing for Carifesta XIV.
Lucas said "Since Monday, advanced parties have been coming into Trinidad. They have been coming at a fast and furious pace. The airport is a beehive of activity. We love the nice Caribbean vibes that our Caribbean neighbours are bringing."
Lucas added: "We have a lot of people from different countries. Guadelope, Jamaica, Barbados and Grenada are here. They have some strong contingents. Haiti has about 200. They are strong and beautiful. The parade of nations starts later this evening and heads to the Savannah. The host nation is getting ready for Carifesta."
The theme is Connect Share Invest.
Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said it would cost $39 million and it would promote integration and highlight the magnificence of the Caribbean.
Visitors and citizens can participate in about 300 events in both Trinidad and the beautiful sister isle Tobago.
During an early morning interview with Fazeer Mohammed, Port Of Spain mayor Joel Martinez and Deputy mayor Hillan Morean said preparations are apace in the city.
Martinez said: "It is an explosion of culture and arts. We (Corporation) is ready to give them the full support."
Chiming in, Morean said: "We are making sure the route is clean. City Police is ready to assist them for this afternoon's launch. Public Health affairs will also be on hand to help them. We want to make sure the capital streets are clean.'
Martinez said the emphasis has always been on cleanliness in the city.
"City has to have a process. We are always working on getting best practices. We must step up our game and ensure the visitors are comfortable."
Asked about the value to the Caribbean, Morean said: "It is not just about jump and wine. There are intellectual discussions taking place. There are other artistic expressions. Art and culture brings cities together."
Martinez added: "It is about bringing people together. It is a "oneness."
Last minute touches at QPS
Meanwhile, yesterday morning, at the Queen's Park Savannah (QPS), Port Of Spain, it was a beehive of activity. Volunteers were collecting their T-shirts. Some members of the contingents were milling around. They looked happy and excited to be in the mecca of Carifesta.
NCC supervisor Isaac Samuel said: "We are adding the last minute touches like paintings and ramps. We are making sure things are put in place. We look forward to a good Carifesta. Carifesta is a melting pot."Delivery men were dropping off water supplies. Police had taken up command spots at the entrances and exits. There was an atmosphere of excitement.
All That Is We Community Festivals 2019
Arima Indigenous Experience-August 17
Arima mayor Lisa Morris-Julian and Chief of the Santa Rosa Carib First Peoples are expected to be present at the smoke ceremony at Santa Rosa Park, followed by a street parade with community and cultural groups to the heart of the business centre and the Arima Velodrome.
Valencia Eco Experience-August 18
Do you have the secret weapon to win the river side curry duck competition? Enjoy exciting team games, dance the cocoa and take a scenic tour to Turtle Resort. Handicraft, cultural talents in dance, spoken word, steelpan, calypso and folk performances
Mayaro Historic Experience-August 22
Head to the Historical Museum at Mayaro Civic Centre and then a procession to BP Resource Centre, the epicentre of "All That Is We" Mayaro Historic Experience
Caroni East Indian Experience-August 22
Discover and learn about East Indian history and heritage. Join the tour at the Temple of The Sea at Waterloo an visits to the Indian Caribbean museum and Sevilla Sugar Museum
Head to the National Energy Skills Centre (NESC), Rivulet Road, Couva, for a showcase of craft, food and cultural presentations
Dance with Moko Jumbies, and enjoy folk performances, steelpan, tassa, Carnival characters, rhythm section, calypso and soca music