Forty years ago, Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis, best known by her sobriquet Calypso Rose, won her first ever Road March title and took the country by storm with her song Gimme More Tempo.”
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A slice of paradise
Back in the day, the Carnival fetes were established at easy-to-reach locations. In the north there were PSA in St James; Guardian Sports Club off Wrightson Road; Legion Hall in Port-of-Spain; La Moui in Maraval; Harvard in St James; Chinese Association, St Ann’s; Winsure in Point Cumana; Palms Club in San Fernando; Foster Lodge in Sangre Grande; and Perseverance Hall in Tunapuna. Today fete locations are nomadic and seem to be shifted annually.
For instance, the D’Original Vale Party is no longer in Diamond Vale, Diego Martin, and Sunny Side Up Breakfast Party is no more at its original Petit Valley locale but has been moved to Wendy Fitzwilliam Boulevard, in Diamond Vale, Diego Martin.
Among the new fete venues are Drew Manor in Santa Cruz, Hadeed Ranch, also in Santa Cruz, La Soledad in Maracas, St Joseph, and North Deck in Maracas. The spacious and well-appointed Drew Manor will be venue for D’Original Vale Party, from 3 am on Carnival Sunday, March 2.
The popular Carnival all-inclusive fete, Escape to Playa, 12th edition will be staged in Salybia on February 27, at 1 pm. Rebranded as Let’s Escape to A Slice of Paradise, the fete had an official launch last Sunday at the Playa del Este Resort in scenic Salybia.
Spending the day at the North coast on the picture-perfect day were sponsors, invited guests, the media and Minister of Justice Emmanuel George. National Carnival Commission (NCC) CEO Michael Guyadeen and Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz also attended the launch.
Food and premium liquor bars were in abundance, as well as live entertainment, spiced by exotic N9 belly dancers. Early guests were treated to four varieties of breakfast, accompanied by a dozen bottles of Moet champagne. Lunches, including creole Sunday lunch, Chinese, Jamaican, Mexican and Tobago’s curry crab and dumpling were served at 2 pm.
Hosted by 105.FM disc jockey CG, the live entertainment package included Oscar B, doing a mix of retro and current popular hits; KI, singing Single, Professor Feter, a collaboration with Nadia Batson and Lyrikal, and Runaway, a collaboration with Olatunji, J Angel, 5 Star Akil, St James Tassa, and Tunapuna Vibrations Engine Room riddim section.
The evening’s entertainment also included a fashion segment co-ordinated by Heather Jones, inspired by Caribbean Airlines new collection of swimwear.
Big fetes kick off
With Tribe ushering the “big “fete” season on January 4 with Tribe ICE at Jean Pierre Complex, Trinity College will kick off the major all-inclusive schedule on Sunday when it hosts Soka in Moka XV at the college grounds, Moka, Maraval.
In addition to the gourmet menu anticipated, music will be by Roy Cape All Stars, featuring Blaxx, Ricardo Drew and Darnella Simmons; Dil-e-Nadan, featuring Raymond Ramnarine; Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons & Vikings Asylum Band; and DJ Third Base.
After a one-year hiatus, the Queen’s Royal College all-inclusive is back with a bang. Scheduled for January 25 and hosted by the PTA and the Old Boys’ Association, the event has been totally rebranded.
The food court is expected to be served with Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Arabic, authentic Indian and local Indian dishes. Also on the menu are the traditional bake and shark, geera pork, corn soup and fish broth.
Music for Fete Royale is by Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann & Vikings Asylum Kings, Dil-e-Nadan, Kes the Band, plus DJs Jus Jase and Franco.
Hilarians stages 19th edition
The oldest all-inclusive school fete, Hilarians, will stage its 19th edition on February 4, from 4 pm, at Bishop Anstey High School, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain.
Billed to make this experience a memorable one are Roy Cape All Stars, Destra & Bakanal, Bunji Garlin & Vikings Asylum Band, Dil-e-Nadan and top DJs.
‘Happiest man’ with the Saints
When Machel Montano last performed at Fete With The Saints, the all-inclusive Carnival Fete hosted annually by the St Mary’s College Past Students’ Union, he created quite a stir as he whipped party-goers into a frenzy, dishing out his hits of that year.
This was in spite of the fact that on that occasion he was not accompanied by his band, but he sang to “tracks.”
For Fete With The Saints on February 8, Montano is coming to create an even greater impact as he will be performing with his full HD Band. Other featured artistes who will perform with the band are Patrice Roberts and the highly popular Farmer Nappy.
Lining up alongside Montano’s aggregation will be the highly-experienced and very popular Roy Cape All Stars. Cape and his band have been consistently pleasing fete-lovers over the years. The CIC faithful can expect Cape and his full brass line-up to pull out all stops to show that they belong at the top of the rung.
It will be a musical war of sorts at the Saints’ Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain compound on February 8.
When Machel and Cape are not battling it out musically, non-stop music will be provided by two DJs —Tweeze and Scobie—who have made a name for themselves over the years in the top-notch Carnival fetes.
In keeping with tradition, the fete will end with pan music, not within the fete, but where it has always been best enjoyed in this country—on the streets. Carib Woodbrook Playboyz, one of the best exponents of pan round-de-neck music, will take the fete around the block and back into the compound.
Patrons will not only get music at its best, but also a wide array of culinary delights. As is customary, there will be a variety of full meals and finger foods. A premium bar as well as a variety of non-alcoholic drinks will be available. The dessert bar will cater for different tastes and levels of calorie-watching.
Secure parking will be available at nearby car parks as follows: on Frederick Street at Moonan’s opposite the college; at First Citizen’s, just before Park Street; at Scotiabank at the corner of Park and Pembroke Streets; at Atlantic on upper Pembroke Street; on Abercromby Street —at J D Sellier’s; at TSTT at the corner of St Vincent and New Streets; and, on Edward Street at Neal & Massy multi-storey car park.
Tickets for Fete With The Saints 2014 are available from Giselle Sankar at the Past Students’ office (624-8468); Joe Hadad (680-3650); Jean Boucaud (475-5293); John Hadeed (680-3505 ); Mark Bishop (680-1087) and in south from Felix Montenegro (657-3652).
Presentation College San Fernando Past Students’ all-inclusive 2014 Carnival fete—PREStige Eu4oria— will be held at the college’s grounds on February 9. Organisers intend recapturing the pizazz of last year’s party—PREStige—Feteology—with music by Machel Montano HD, Kes the Band, David Rudder, Dil-e-Nadan and more.
At the PREStige launch last week, organisers promised that “a re-strategised and well thought-out food court and bars have been added, and this year we promise—no, we guarantee more. We have kept the things that worked well, and we’re raising the bar on the other areas with some cheeky additions to what we fully expect to be one of the most talked about and highly reviewed fetes for Carnival 2014.”
Come February 16, from 2 pm, the vintage Friends of the Blood Bank all-inclusive will be held at Lion’s Cultural Centre, Fitzblackman Drive, Woodbrook. With tickets priced at $600 each, premium bars and an extensive food court, music will be by Roy Cape All Stars, Ravi B & Karma, Imij & Co, Mayaro The Band, DJs Crosby and Alicia “The Duchess,” T&T Sweet Tassa, Rudy’s Rhythm Section and more.
Rated as “the best all-inclusive fete” at Carnival, the Fatima College past students party is scheduled for February 22, at the college, Mucurapo Road, Woodbrook at 5 pm. Billed to perform are Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann & Asylum Kings, Dil-e-Nadan, Kes the Band, Roy Cape All Stars and Destra & Bakanal. Several guest artistes will also perform at the event which will also be served by 30 food stations, four bars and eight corporate booths.
And so, the Carnival fete agenda is up and running. One of the first Carnival all-inclusive fetes—Veni Mange—is back? Word on the ground is that Veni Party Time is to be held on February 9 at Under the Trees of The Normandie, St Ann’s. A little birdie told Pulse that the line-up for this reprise could include Imij & Co, Blaxx, Kes the Band, Kerwin Du Bois and Denise Belfon.