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Emancipation extravaganza at Savannah
It is Emancipation Day and Port-of-Spain is expected to radiate in colour and sounds when thousands participate in the annual street procession from Brian Lara Promenade to the Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village in the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Co-ordinated by the Emancipation Support Committee, citizens are expected to be attired in colourful traditional African wear accompanied by the pulsating rhythm of African drums and pan.
The weekend is chockful with African-oriented events including tomorrow’s Legacies & Legends, at 2 pm and 7 pm at the Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village, with emcee Atillah presiding. The list of artistes billed to perform is lengthy as it is impressive, and includes the Youth Pan Concert featuring Success Stars, CAL Invaders, Old Tech, Golden Symphony, St Margaret’s AC Boys, Exo Cubs, 2014 Young KinGs Monarch Bevon St Clair, Wasafoli, Bois Academy, Gary Cordner, Marvellous Marva, Composer, Contender, Abbi Blackman and many more. The programme also includes the staging of Sing the Chorus and Ah Wanna Fall, a calypso musical starring David Bereaux.
There is all-day action on Sunday as well with the Rhythm & Voices Youth Concert being staged at the Village, from 11 am. Also, simultaneously held in the Village will be a food fair and family fair, offering a wide range of indigenous African and local cuisine, fabric and handicraft.
Carnival 2015 has arrived
Carnival 2015 was formally launched on July 23 at the Queen’s Park Savannah and its official programme of events was released. However, before the new year, Regional Carnival 2015 will be launched on November 22 at the Barrackpore Recreational Grounds from 2 pm.
NCC commissioner Don Sylvester, responsible for regional mas, is promising bigger and better coordinated presentations nationwide, especially by the traditional carnival characters. Referring to traditional characters as “pretty mas,” Sylvester said, contrary to the opinion of some that costuming is dying in local carnival, pretty mas is very much alive, especially in rural areas.
Some of the red-letter events of Carnival 2015 are the launch of the Carnival Village at the Savannah (Monday, January 26); Chutney Soca Monarch Final (Saturday, January 31); National Medium & Large Conventional Bands Panorama semi-final (Sunday, February 1); Kaiso Fiesta—National Calypso Monarch semi-final (Saturday, February 7); Fantastic Friday—International Groovy & Power Soca Monarch Finals (Friday, February 13); NCBA Big Friday—National King & Queen of Carnival Finals (Friday, February 13); National Medium & Large Conventional Orchestra Panorama Finals (Saturday, February 14); and, Dimanche Gras (Sunday, February 15).
Carnival 2015 Events:
Thursday 1: Calypsonians Welfare Fund-raiser
Thursday 15: Pan Trinbago (Tobago Region) National Single Pan preliminary, Buccoo Intergral Facility, Buccoo, Tobago;
Friday 16: Pan Trinbago (South/Central Region) National Single Pan preliminary, Petrotrin Sports Club Carpark, Pointe-a-Pierre;
Saturday 17: Pan Trinbago (East Region) National Single Pan preliminary, Velodrome, Arima;
Sunday 18: Pan Trinbago (Tobago Region) National Small & Medium Conventional Orchestras preliminaries, Carnival City (next to Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet, Tobago;
Friday 23: Pan Trinbago (South/Central Region) National Small & Medium Conventional Orchestras preliminaries, Skinner Park, San Fernando;
Friday 23: National Stickfighting preliminary, Biche;
Saturday 24: Pan Trinbago (East Region) National Small & Medium Conventional Orchestras preliminaries, Velodrome, Arima;
Sunday 25: Pan Trinbago (North Region) National Small & Medium Conventional Orchestras preliminaries, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain;
Monday 26: Launch of Carnival Village, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain;
Friday 30: National Stickfighting preliminary, Cedros;
Saturday 31: Chutney Soca Monach Final, Skinner Park, San Fernando;
Saturday 31: Pan Trinbago National Single Pan and Small & Medium Conventional Orchestras Panorama semi-finals, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Sunday 1: Pan Trinbago National Medium & Large Conventional Orchestras Panorama semi-finals, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Monday 2: National Extempore preliminary, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Wednesday 4: National Stickfighting semi-final, Couva;
Wednesday 4: Live at the Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain;
Thursday 5: National King & Queen of Carnival preliminaries, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Friday 6: Traditional Carnival Characaters Festival, Woodford Square to Queen’s Park Savannah;
Saturday 7: Red Cross Kiddies Carnival, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Saturday 7: Kaiso Fiesta – National Calypso Monarch semi-final, Skinner Park, San Fernando;
Sunday 8: Masquerade Junior Individuals/Categories. Adam Smith Square, Woodbrook;
Sunday 8: Pan Trinbago National Junior Panorama Finals, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Sunday 8: National Juniors King & Queen of Carnival preliminaries, Adam Smith Square, Woodbrook;
Monday 9: National Junior Calypso Monarch Finals, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Monday 9: Arima Panorama Finals, Princess Royal Basketball Court, Arima;
Tuesday 10: Rapso Explosion, Nalis, Port-of-Spain;
Tuesday 10: National King & Queen of Carnival semi-finals, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Tuesday 10: Tobago House of Assembly Pan Champs Finals, Dwight Yorke Stadium, Tobago;
Wednesday 11: Masquerade Traditional Individuals Competitions, Victoria Square, Port-of-Spain;
Wednesday 11: Lime all-inclusive, Hyatt Regency;
Wednesday 11: National Stickfighting Finals, Skinner Park;
Thursday 12: Masquerade Conventional Individuals and Individual of the Year competitions, Victoria Square;
Thursday 12: Escape to Playa del Este, Salybia;
Thursday 12: Pan Trinbago National Small & Single Pan Panorama Finals, Skinner Park;
Thursday 12: TUCO Terrific Thursday Kaisorama, Lord Kitchener Auditorium, National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port-of-Spain;
Friday 13: Re-enactment of Camboulay Riots, Piccadilly Greens, East Dry River, Port-of-Spain;
Friday 13: Dragon Festival, cnr George & Prince Streets, Port-of-Spain;
Friday 13: TUCO Fantastic Friday – International Groovy & Power Soca Monarch Finals, Hasely Crawford Stadium;
Friday 13: NCBA Big Friday – National King & Queen of Carnival Finals, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Saturday 14: Junior Parade of the Bands, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Saturday 14: Pan Trinbago National Medium & Large Panorama Finals, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Sunday 15: Nostalgia Masquerade Parade, Piccadilly Greens to Adam Smith Square;
Sunday 15: Dimanche Gras, Queen’s Park Savannah;
Monday 16: J’Ouvert & Parade of the Bands/Pan Trinbago Steelband competitions, nationwide;
Tuesday 17; Parade of the Bands/Pan Trinbago Steelband competitions, nationwide.
Steelband clashes on weekend
The lack of cohesion between the Ministry of Arts & Multiculturalism, Pan Trinbago, its regions, member bands has resulted in a glut of pan events this weekend with at least three being held on Sunday at different venues. Although there was only one major pan event last weekend, there was a poor turnout of patrons at the Friday night 1.2.3 Plus concert, staged by Pan Trinbago’s Northern Region at Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove pan theatre in Woodbrook. Some are suggesting that the absence of patrons was probably due to the $50 admission charged as the public seems reluctant to pay money to hear the national instrument.
In spite of the scarcity of “pan lovers,” the bands to perform each turned in scintillating performances. With Witco Desperadoes inexplicably absent, despite being advertised to be on the billing, performing were Scrunters Pan Groove, Fire Services, bpTT Renegades, CAL Invaders and Phase II. Between bands music was provided by DJ Cutting Crew.
Seen amongst the small crowd were deputy Port-of-Spain mayor Kerron Valentine, former Woodbrook councillor Cleveland Garcia and wife Allima.
This weekend it’s pan in a rage nationwide. Tomorrow, apart from the Emancipation junior pan concert at the Savannah, Pan Trinbago will host Pan by the Seaside at the Clifton Hill Beach Park, Point Fortin, at 4 pm. Bands billed to perform include Witco Desperadoes, bpTT Renegades, CAL Invaders, NLCB Fonclaire, NGC La Brea Nightingales and Point Fortin Tornadoes.
Another big steelband production this weekend is Pan on a Higher Note 2014, produced by the Ministry of Arts & Multiculturalism at the Lord Kitchener Auditorium, National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port-of-Spain. Subtitled From Gershwin to Boogsie, and featuring the music of the National Steel Symphony Orchestra and Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, this show premieres tomorrow at 8 pm with a repeat on Sunday evening, at 6 pm.
The Laventille Steelband Festival Foundation is scheduled to stage the annual Laventille Steelband Festival Emancipation Street parade on Sunday afternoon. Each year this event is opened with the Emancipation Story, drumming and dancing as a road show, followed by tamboo bamboo, rhythm sections and steelbands from the expanded catchment area which lies between Charlotte Street in Port-of-Spain and the Croisee in San Juan. The parade’s route is usually from Mc Allister Street to Leon Street along the Eastern Main Road, Success Village, Laventille.
Beyond this weekend, Pan Trinbago continues its Pan In De Countryside series on Saturday, August 16 at Gilbert Park, Couva. Selected bands are Couva Joylanders, PSC Nitrogen Silver Stars, Skiffle, T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps, Longdenville Claytones and Humming Bird Pan Groove.