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Mayor: Give more to support downtown mas
Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez yesterday called on business people to be more generous to help host downtown Carnival as each year the event has gotten “bigger and better.”
Faced with tough economic times, Martinez said there would be certain cutbacks for 2018.
He assured that the event would still maintain all its pomp and pageantry and monetary prizes would not be adjusted.
Martinez was speaking at a press briefing held at the Port-of-Spain City Corporation yesterday said the downtown Carnival could not take place without sponsorship.
He said an estimated $1.2 million was spent on downtown Carnival annually. He said the National Lotteries Control Board had donated $50,000.
“There was a letter earlier that the NLCB was not going to give us any sponsorship but they have come through.
“We are trying to receive additional monies to bridge the gap,” the mayor said.
Martinez said additional sponsorship was forthcoming including a yearly subvention from the National Carnival Commission.
He said over the years a number of large bands had returned to downtown, adding to the volume of participants.
Chairman of the Downtown Carnival Committee Wendell Stephens, who also spoke, said, “We have written a lot of letters for sponsorship and we are hoping to get a positive response.
“What we have done over the years is reduce the category but not the prize structure,” Stephens said.
He also urged Port-of-Spain businessmen to financially support downtown Carnival.
Martinez also promised that the decibel level would be adhered to during the celebrations.
A statement from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) said the decibel level for a fete is 65 dBA.
“We also want to encourage band leaders to be very mindful of this. It may seem a bit difficult at this time but people will get accustomed to it and understand that the music does not have to be up more than the fete,” Martinez said.
On vending during Carnival Monday and Tuesday the mayor said there was a process to be followed and those who did not abide by the law would be removed by police.
DESTRA TO BE HONOURED
Soca diva Destra Garcia is expected be honoured at the launch of downtown Carnival on Friday.
Garcia, known as the Queen of Bacchanal, would be honoured during a cultural function at Woodford Square.
The parade route for downtown, Stephens said, would not be changed. He said the NCC’s kiddies mas would start from South Quay where there would be separate judging by downtown judges before the bands head up to Queen’s Park Savannah where they would be judged by the NCC.
He said on Carnival Sunday the Downtown Carnival Committee would hold its own kiddies mas beginning at South Quay.
The start of J’Ouvert would be proclaimed at 4 am, ushering in the reign of the Merry Monarch on Carnival Monday
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