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School fetes deliver

Crowds come out for awesome performances, cuisine
Published: 
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Machel Montano performs one of his many hits at Fete with the Saints which was hosted by the St Mary’s College Past Students Union on Saturday evening at the College’s sports grounds, Serpentine Road, Port-of-Spain. PHOTO: DARREN RAMPERSAD

The days of massive Carnival fetes staged by the likes of Customs Boys, Winsure, Cosmos, Guardian, St John’s, Tears, Anyhowers and Choice of Colours are a thing of the past, replaced by fund-raising parties held by schools. This year, all the school fetes have been successes, including Trinity College’s Soka in Moka, Bishop Anstey’s Old Hilarians’ Cheers to 21, Presentation colleges in Chaguanas and San Fernando and last Saturday’s Fete with the Saints.

Fete with the Saints, staged by the St Mary’s College Past Students’ Union at the college’s St Clair grounds, was awesome and organisers succeeded in raising the bar as far as these fund-raisers are concerned. From the depths of recession, almost 4,000 fete-hungry folks assembled at the venue for a night to remember. The luscious, green football field was transformed into a fete arena by Ultimate Events, with prominent corporate branding and most firms offering gifts to patrons.

With live entertainment by Machel Montano and his band, Kes the Band, featuring Kernal Roberts and Nailah Blackman as guests, and MX Prime & Ultimate Rejects, Fete with the Saints was attended by several dignitaries. Among those seen were president Anthony Carmona, Sharon Rowley, AG Faris Al-Rawi, House Speaker Bridgette Annisette-George, ministers Anthony Garcia, Clarence Rambarath and Maxie Cuffie, Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez, Howard University president Dr Wayne Frederick and ESPN anchor Shaka Hislop.

Food and premium drink were in abundance with prime caterers Chaud Restaurant, Boomerang and Berment Caterers, Tandoori Hut (Rasam) and More Vino restaurants in the mix. Other culinary favourites on the night were Phillip Mendes with his special beef, chicken and lamb sliders, and Trini Melee with its caterers Debra Bath-Gift, Giselle George and Lisa Collins among others attracting several to their stall with their unique cuisine.

This weekend it is the turn of Queen’s Royal College Old Boys’ Association (QRC OBA), the QRC PTA and the management team of the college to impress as they host the fourth edition of Fete Royal on Saturday from 6 pm. Lovin’ Carnival is their theme for 2017, and the Fete Committee promises a great event with a wider array of food from their usual food providers, such as Tandoori Hut (Rasam), Rib House, Barrow’s Catering, Garden Kitchen, Passage to Asia, Food Starrs, and Atlantic Caterers, to name a few.

Always a culinary innovator at its fetes, this year the committee is introducing some new items such as Shrimp Avocado Cocktails; Turkey Wraps; Fish Chowder; a locally themed dumpling station, serving Crab stuffed dumplings; Buljol stuffed dumplings; and, Roasted Melongene dumplings to mention a few.

The bar options promise to be unique and creative in keeping with the fete’s theme, with premium brands being throughout the night, by main sponsor Massy Distribution. Two years ago, Fete Royal introduced Gentlemen Quarters and this year, it has teamed up with Havana Hut, where patrons can sit, relax and sip the finest whiskeys by Chivas Regal, Glenlivet Single Malt, Jameson and Royal Salute while enjoy a good Cuban cigar. In addition, there will be a professional barber to maintain that crisp, sharp handsome look, throughout the night. In addition they will be having Angostura, serving the 1919 and providing it’s Angostura Rum Cocktails serving the world renowned Angostura Swizzle! There will also be Carib Brewery serving all the offerings from the Carib Zone.

The décor will ensure that you feel the love of Valentine’s Day, and the Ladies lounge will be filled with a full bubbly bar serving Casine Prosseco and wines in a relaxed lounge, with lit mirrors, refreshing wipes, and hair styling compliments John Freida and in keeping with the love theme, Grab and Go pastries will also be served.

QRC OBA president Kenrick Harrinauth disclosed: “Our president’s platform will be beautifully decorated and branded by GM Mumm Champagne and serving other fine brands to pamper our special VIP guests. We will have our Absolut and Tequila cocktails and shots bars to ensure no one is left out of this Lovin’ Experience.”

QRC Fete Royal 2017 is said to be the only event where four of the best bands will be performing, starting off with KI the Band, Destra Garcia and Bakanal, Kes the Band and Roy Cape All Stars featuring Blaxx, Tizzy and Ricardo Drue. Also performing will be MX Prime and the Ultimate Rejects and while the live bands change over the patrons will be kept moving by Alicia D Duchess.

As usual, security will be top notch in and around the venue to ensure your personal safety, and that of your valued property. Secured parking will be available at Tatil Car Park on Maraval Road and around the venue. However, the planning committee is urging patrons to ensure that they park their vehicles in a responsible manner.

Harrinauth added: “Our patrons will also have the opportunity to win two airlines tickets to Miami courtesy Caribbean Airlines Limited and another patron will also receive a TSTT/bMobile Huawei P9 mobile handset.”

He continued: “As in the past all proceeds from the event go directly back to the institution, for the benefit of the students. Over the past six years, the QRC OBA has contributed over $700,000 to the wellbeing of our students, so they may enjoy the best possible educational experience at Queen’s Royal College.”

Harrinauth conveyed thanks to sponsors of this event for partnering to produce Lovin’ Carnival such as Massy Distribution, Angostura, NLCB, Carib, I95.5, Hott93.5, Courts and Blue Waters.

For more information call 472-4204, 387-2411 and 795-0050 or at feteroyaltickets@gmail.com

Though not a school, but contributing to needy causes through its annual Carnival fete is Yorke Inc. The outfit held its Happy People all-inclusive fete on Sunday at the University Inn & Conference Centre, UWI Circular Road, St Augustine.

Attracting one of the largest turnouts to attend this annual event, music was provided by Kes the Band, Roy Cape All Stars, Dil-e-Nadan, Blaxx, Ricardo Drue, Raymond Ramnarine, MX Prime and Ultimate Rejects, Voice, KI, Tizzy, JW & Blaze and Point Fortin Engine Room.

The party was scheduled to end at midnight but went until 12.45 am on Monday. Among those seen enjoying themselves were Bridgette Annisette George, Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste Primus, HDC chairman Neuman George, NUGFW President General James Lambert, NLCB executive director Ricardo Borde, Professor Clem Sankat, attorney Martin George and fashion designer Heather Jones.

With a fortnight left before the Carnival weekend a few schools also have their fund-raising parties planned in this period. Among them are Holy Cross College’s Soca on D Hill next Saturday; Arima Boys RC’s D Roll Call (February 17); Fatima College (February 18); St Anthony’s College’s Feting Tigers (February 19); St Crispin’s AC annual Tuesday evening reunion and lime (February 21); and, St James Secondary Alumni’s Backyard Cooler Lime, at How’zat Sports Lounge on Tragarete Road, Woodbrook (February 22).