Spectators who may have had some trepidation about going to Piccadilly Street (the Greens), Port-of-Spain, to watch mas were happy at the heavy police presence in downtown and East Port-of-Spain yesterday.
The police officers were comprised mainly of members of the Port-of-Spain Division, Central Police Station, Besson Street Police Station, Duncan Street police post, Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and CID and many were heavily armed.
One man who caused a disturbance during the festivities at the site, for example, was quickly arrested by officers wearing green polos and bullet-proof vests.
On the corner of Prince and Charlotte Streets, a group of youths “liming” on the corner were stopped and some were searched by officers. Some of the young men questioned whether they didn’t have a right to lime there.
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, National Security Minister Stuart Young and Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez, accompanied by a squad of tactical police dressed in helmets and BDUs (Battle Dress Uniforms), also went on a walkabout along Piccadilly Street.
In the Road March race meanwhile, it seemed to be a dead heat on the Greens between Kees Dieffenthaller’s Savannah Grass and the triple-threat trio of Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin (Ian Alvarez) and Skinny Fabulous (Gamal Doyle) with their Famalay.
The first band to cross the judging point was The Lost Tribe with Taj, a theme inspired by the Taj Mahal, around 9.45 am to Savannah Grass.
Mas band Have Ah Time, portraying Land of Paradise, then took to the stage to the strains of Famalay. When that song ended the deejay switched to International Power Soca Monarch Mr Killa’s (Hollice Mapp) hit Run Wid It.
At this point, some male masqueraders picked up their female partners and women masqueraders even picked up other female masqueraders because their numbers were too many for the men.
Trini Revellers’ band Zodiac opted to parade to Savannah Grass.
Several other bands, including Planet of the Apes, Mas Passion, Wingdom, Antourage Production and Bounty also crossed the stage to a combination of Savannah Grass and Famalay.