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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Wonders of the World

The website for Gerad Kelley's 2007 children's band "Wonders of the World" is up and running. You can view actual costumes, not drawings, as well as learn a bit more about the band. For instance, the band has it's own music truck and it totally "all-inclusive" providing the kiddies with eats, drinks and snacks on the road all day long. I guess it was only a matter of time before kiddies mas started going the way of adults in that respect!

The costumes are cute, I am sure the kiddies will enjoy being a "Great Wall of China" or "Sahara Desert". My one observation is that it looks as if the photos have been doctored to make a black background, and thus there are some spaces that were not properly coloured in ! Check out the the photo of Paracutin Volcano below to see what I mean:



And finally, have a look at the gallery with photos from the bandlaunching, looks like it was again fun for the kids with pony rides and face painting.

Uptown Carnival body suggests: Parade on the ‘Greens’

While I am glad that options for alternative parade venues are on the table, I have to say that I personally have a problem with Piccadilly Greens. Yes, I am going on all the negative stereotypes that have perpetuated about the area, even my mother cringes when I take a short cut through there on evenings to get to the highway. The stigma of it being a crime riddled area is not to be taken lightly, a co-worker of mine had her chain snatched from her neck as she sat in a car one afternoon, right "behind the bridge". I simply would not be comfortable parading there.

The following article was taken from today's Trinidad Guardian:

BY CORDIELLE STREET

Piccadilly Greens, East Port-of-Spain, is being offered as an alternative “big stage” for Carnival 2007 pending the Government’s decision to keep the Queen’s Park Savannah off limits to mas.

Chairman of the Uptown Carnival Improvement Committee Winston Brown said yesterday that Piccadilly Greens “behind the bridge” is a perfect choice for one of two mandatory judging points for the Parade of Bands.

South Quay, downtown PoS, and the Queen’s Park Savannah were formerly the two mandatory judging points for mas bands.

But with the pending construction of the $400 million Carnival Cultural Centre at the QPS and an expected announcement by the Government to bar Carnival events being staged there, an alternative compulsory judging point is now needed.

“We want to encourage more bands to come and in addition to that we offer very nice trophies and prizes and it is good to keep Carnival in touch with its roots,” said Best.

In a news release the organisation said the Greens was not only the birthplace of Trinidad Carnival but, “is also the only venue in Trinidad which sits in the middle of a highly populated residential area, creating a natural amphitheatre.”

Best added that while: “The National Carnival Commission from time to time declared an official route, they didn’t always highlight Piccadilly as a venue.”

He said crime was not a deterrent as no incident was ever reported in the area during the Parade of Bands.

However, the Greens has seen traffic lessen over the years as mas bands often circumvent the area.

The National Carnival Bands’ Association (NCBA) and the National Carnival Development Foundation (NCDF) have both submitted proposals concerning mas routes for next year.

The NCBA continues to be tight-lipped concerning their proposal to the Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs Joan Yuille-Williams while NCDF has in its proposal included a suggestion for stands for spectators and judges to be built on the Princess Elizabeth grounds which can be used as a mandatory judging point.

Best is requesting an urgent meeting with the NCC, NCBA, NCDF and the Ministry.
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