Despite the annual grappling for funds with the National Carnival Commission (NCC), San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello says the business community and bandleaders made this year’s celebration possible in the southern city.
Regrello told journalists that the San Fernando City Corporation is yet to get correspondence from the NCC as to how much funding will be allocated. Speaking at the High Street judging point Monday, he said the J’Ouvert celebrations still turned out successful.
“We are yet to get an indication from NCC what our allocation is. I must commend the bandleaders, the masqueraders, the Southern Business Chamber of Commerce for helping us to put together the ambience and atmosphere,” Regrello said.
This year saw the judging point return to High Street, which has been the subject of complaints over the year. It is sometimes difficult for Kings and Queens of bands and those who carry heavy structures to ascend the hill. However, the J’Ouvert went along smoothly.
Regrello said the change this year was being enjoyed by all and was done to ease the noise nuisance for patients at the San Fernando General Hospital. Last year, the judging point was located on Harris Promenade, a short distance away from the San Fernando General Hospital and the San Fernando Teaching Hospital.
This year bands were instructed to switch off their music from Independence Avenue to Chancery Lane so that patients at the hospital would not be affected.
“So far I can say we can see some success in terms of spreading out the Carnival as opposed to what we had last year, which was condensed in one particular area. As you will be aware, there are issues with the hospital, with the patients being disturbed and those who had surgery. We attempted to shift the focus from Harris Promenade to High Street. Bands were asked to turn down their music on Independence Avenue until they get to the point of the Guardian building.
“That is being adhered to and the shift is on to High Street, where most of the competition used to be in years gone by. Bleachers have been provided for the spectators and I think we can grow and just improve and get better as time goes on.”