Although the crowd for J’Ouvert seems to be smaller than previous years, Port-of-Spain’s Mayor Joel Martinez said he expected the crowd to get bigger over the two days of Carnival.
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Montano’s MOR in front
Carnival bands crossed the stage at Queen’s Park savannah quicker yesterday ensuring there was no major congestion and delays.
President of the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) David Lopez said the free flow was due to a reduction in the amount of time a band can stay on the stage. Speaking with reporters yesterday, he said in previous years some large bands would have stayed on the stage for almost an hour, adding that there were some 16 large bands in the competition. Lopez said the bands agreed to the change and most leaders ensured the time-limit was met yesterday.
As the bands crossed the stage in the full costumes, most of then danced to Machel Montano’s Ministry of Road, which is expected to be announced as the 2014 Road march. The road march is the song most played at carnival venues across the country. Yesterday at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Montano’s closest rival Farmer Nappy’s Big People Party was in a distant second.
Almost 45 minutes after the scheduled start of the Parade of the Bands, the first band Harts Ltd, led by Luis Hart crossed the stage to the delight of the small crowd at that time with its 2014 presentation was entitled Of Love and War. Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley and former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam were seen on stage shortly after playing sailor mas in the medium band Just Wee and Friends, which was led by Earl Crosby and Anne-Marie Placide. Its presentation was entitled “Saga of the Open Seas.
Up to mid-afternoon the band Tribe had not crossed the stage. That band was one which opted to participated at the new Socadrome location, at the Jean Pierre Complex. National Security Minister Gary Griffith and top security officials, including acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams also crossed the stage. At no time were the Grand or North stands filled to capacity as many spectators opted to remain on the grounds of the savannah to witness the parade of bands.
Ronnie McIntosh’s presentation De River Come Down was also on stage early yesterday morning. His band was followed minutes later by another crowd favourite Legacy’s Nature’s Touch. World record-holder for the highest Test score and first class scores, Brian Lara crossed the stage with former Manchester United and T&T national footballer Dwight Yorke in the large band Fantasy Carnival with its presentation of Secrets of the Deep.