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Las lap for children in PoS
Although off to a late start yesterday, approximately 50 small, medium and large children’s bands paraded through downtown Port-of-Spain in the final of the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) Kiddies’ Carnival. Originally scheduled to begin at 1 pm, the competition did not begin until 2 pm.
Success Laventille Secondary School started the competition with its presentation of Inside. The band was led by Nekeisha Ferreira. Somewhere in an African Jungle soon followed led by Kim Pierre and Catherine Gregorio. Many of the children danced, jumped and even wined to the top 2013 soca hits, with Austin “SuperBlue” Lyons’ Fantastic Friday heading the list.
Bands assembled on St Vincent Street, along the Brian Lara Promenade and on Wrightson Road, as they awaited the start of the downtown competition. The bands then paraded along St Vincent Street and onto Wrightson Road, where the children paraded in front of the first judging point, and then to Piccadilly Greens.
But Rikki Barkarr, bandleader of the Boissiere Village Children, who portrayed Passion for Pan, said this year may be his last, since sponsorship was not as forthcoming. Barkarr, who had threatened to leave the business behind before, in 2006, said the band, which is normally a large band, was a medium band this year because the time structure and lack of funding made it difficult for him.
He said his band usually consists of 200-plus children, but he could only muster 150 this year. The bandleader of 16 years said the band was a non-profit organisation which subsidised 50 per cent of the costs. He claimed his band was one of the cheapest bands in T&T, with costumes retailing at $240.
“After 16 years, this may be our last year, because the sponsorship in T&T and the overall corporate business more look at the big bands,” he said. But parent Claudine James-Matthews, whose seven-year-old daughter played in popular children’s mas designer Rosalind Gabriel’s Lost in Paradise: A Nancy Story, said she felt expense was a matter of who you played with and what one received for money spent She said she was satisfied with paying $2,000-plus for her child’s costume, since there were many benefits guaranteed to her throughout the year.