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South children take to streets
Beautifully adorned in their costumes, children took over the streets of San Fernando yesterday. But after seven bands passed the usual route on Coffee Street, spectators were left wondering whether the parade was over. This is because there was a lull in the activities for hours, with no band crossing the stage.
However, a San Fernando Carnival official said this was because some of the bands had gone to other competitions before coming to south. He said 22 bands were registered, including 16 non-school and six bands, for the San Fernando competition. It was around noon yesterday that San Fernando mayor Kazim Hosein addressed junior masqueraders who had assembled at the starting point at OWTU headquarters at Circular Road, San Fernando.
Welcoming everyone to mas in the southern city, Hosein urged bandleaders and their masqueraders to keep playing mas in South. With law enforcement officers, the ambulance services and firefighters out in full force, the mayor said he anticipated no major incidents and less crime. As soca music blared from the trucks, the children began chipping, with Sisco & Associates, with its presentation Spirit of Africa, the first to start off.
They were followed by Tricia & Associates portraying Butterfly City; Funtime Production with Rhythm of Our People; House of Jacqui (Festivals of the World); Gems of the Caribbean from Eccles Village AC School & Friends; Lionel Jagessar & Associates with Smoke Signal and Southern Mas Associates with A Native Shindig. There was no hiccup or delay either, as the bands followed one another in quick and smooth succession along Royal Road, Coffee Street, Cipero Street and then Skinner Park.
With no other bands in sight thereafter, spectators began asking each other and the media what was happening. “Are these all the bands? It finish already?” a woman asked. The mayor, who was following the bands along the route and meeting and greeting revellers, explained that some of the bands opted to meet up with the other bands near Skinner Park instead of passing along the traditional route.