Agreement on parade route for Carnival bands
Tuesday, January 1 2013
Carnival stakeholders have reached agreement on the parade route for bands in Carnival 2013. Agreement was reached during a meeting held last Thursday in the VIP Room of the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, according to a press release from the National Carnival Commission (NCC).
Key stakeholders at the meeting discussed issues of management of the parades, training and remuneration of road marshals, role of security, and the Police Service, as well as a need for bands to respect the authority of the marshals on Carnival days.
NCC intends to discuss those issues of management, and give the final approval for the proposed parade route agreed upon at its next board meeting upcoming Thursday.
The new route, according to the release, “was proposed in order to solve the gridlock and hours-long wait that typically plague the annual parade of the bands, especially at the entrance to the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS).”
The release stated representatives from the National Carnival Bands’ Association (NCBA), the National Carnival Development Foundation (NCDF), the Trinidad Tobago Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA), Pan Trinbago, Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO), the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism, and the NCC attended the meeting.
There were members of the Cross-Town Committee, who represented the interests of Traditional Masqueraders, as well as engineers, Rae Furlonge and Derek Hamilton. The release noted that Hamilton requested that more television cameras be placed along the length of the stage, to encourage persons “to keep moving,” instead of going back to get more time on the camera.
Gerard Weekes, executive member of the TTCBA said the TTCBA membership took issue with the US Emassy’s “ban” on bands passing their facility opposite the Savannah, on Marli Street, Port of Spain.
NCDF’s chairman, Jean Paul Pouchet advocated “a GPS tracking system for bands, so not only would Command Centre authorities know where they were, but other bands on the road, as well. He said this would enable them to better plan their movements and avoid pile-ups.”
Allison Demas, NCC Chairman, said she was concerned with the development of Carnival downtown, and proposed measures by the Cross-Town Committee would help, “preserve Traditional Mas, while reviving activities downtown.”
Michael Prescott, President of the Cross-Town Carnival Committee suggested the area between Prince and Charlotte Streets, Port-of-Spain be an established haven for Traditional masqeraders to perform, and be seen, with a dedicated judging point at Lucky Jordan, at the corner of George and Prince streets.
The release further stated that parade routes for Monday, Tuesday and Children’s Carnival are to be announced after its official clearance.
It was also agreed at the meeting, that last year’s J’ouvert route will once again be used.