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Bandleader backs draw for Mas parade

Monday, June 30 2014

The suggestion made by traffic engineer, Dr Rae Furlonge, to allow mas bands to pull for the chance to parade on either Carnival Monday or Tuesday just might be the solution to the congestion and lulls in the flow of the Parade of the Bands, according to Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA) executive Rosalind Gabriel.

“The time has come for everyone to realise there is not enough hours in the day for all the bands to pass through the route. Common sense would tell you we can’t stuff everyone into the savannah in one day,” she said.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Gabriel recalled three of the options for Carnival 2015 presented by Furlonge on Saturday at the National Carnival Commission (NCC) consultation at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, saying they were nothing new. The suggestions were lengthening the parade route, removing downtown from the route entirely, and the bands choosing only one day to parade.

Gabriel stated that the choice of parading on one day was brought up years ago but bandleaders did not like the idea. However she said Carnival was “going nowhere fast” so change was necessary.

She also voiced her support of the Socadrome, an alternative stage, as important as the savannah, where bands not interested in competing could cross. She said she saw it as a positive change, and the only change over the years that made sense to her.

Regarding the expansion of the route, Gabriel said the TTCBA made the suggestion in 2012, and it was also presented to bandleaders by the NCC on January 8, 2014. However, she said the police shot down the idea, stating that they did not have the manpower to supervise such an extensive route. She noted that the NCC presented the idea once again on Saturday, but did not say whether or not the police had approved it.

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