Heavy winds at the Queen’s Park Savannah did not prove to be a problem for masqueraders taking part in the Carnival Kings and Queens preliminaries on Thursday night.
Before the first masquerader crossed the stage in front of the Grand Stand, there were concerns about how strong winds would affect the competition in the absence of the North Stand, which usually acts like make-shift wind-break.
The concerns did not matter after all as the weather on Thursday night was mostly calm until late in the competition when the last two masqueraders had to endure a light drizzle during their performances.
While there were no costume malfunctions due to the forces of mother nature, as has occurred in the past years, technical difficulties from organisers almost overshadowed the show.
The issues began as the show commenced almost one hour after its scheduled start time of 7 pm. The lighting engineers were still testing their equipment as patrons were still filing in.
When the show did start, several masqueraders had to deal with the numerous mix-ups with their backup music, which persisted for most of the night.
Coupled together, the issues led to the show finishing at almost 2 am, well after most of the audience had departed.
Despite the perennial issues, for most of the night mas enthusiasts were still treated to a master-class of Carnival design and theatrical performance.
The most popular song selected by masqueraders was clearly Kees Dieffenthaller’s Road March contender Savannah Grass.
Machel Montano’s 2019 album Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.) also proved to be a popular choice with masqueraders selecting a number of compositions, the most popular of which was Release, his collaboration with US R&B singer Ashanti.
The show began with a tribute to a veteran competitor and bandleader Roland St George, who passed away last year.
National Carnival Commission (NCC) board member Rosalind Gabriel in her tribute described him as a true friend and mas icon.
“He defined the term masman, with a passion for mas making which saw him produce and compete in the King of Carnival competition for a record-setting 41 consecutive years,” she said.