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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Savannah Saga Continues

Amid the call to sign the petition for Masqueraders to Cross the Savannah stage that is supposed to be constructed in the Savannah for "pre Carnival" activities, and a subsequent press release which I sent out to the media houses yesterday comes reports that work in the Savannah has been ordered stopped, as reported by the Trinidad Express:

Official: Stop Carnival work at Savannah
Chaos over plans...

Wayne Bowman and Kristy Ramnarine

Wednesday, December 12th 2007

WORKMEN erecting temporary structures in preparation for Carnival 2008 at the south-eastern end Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, were given orders to cease construction yesterday following a directive from a top government official, the Express learned.

The work stoppage and the cancellation of the official launch of Carnival 2008 has added to the confusion surrounding plans for next year's event.

Culture Minister Marlene McDonald said late yesterday: "Keston Nancoo, the Chairman of the NCC, is the person responsible for Carnival and he will put out a statement tomorrow. I have nothing more to say, there is nothing to add and I want to disassociate myself from whatever was mentioned to my secretary when you called this morning."

The Minister was referring to reports that the stop work order came from Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

McDonald was scheduled to deliver the feature address at the launch which was carded to take place at a breakfast meeting at Hilton Trinidad, Port of Spain.

A source from the Culture Ministry told the Express yesterday that Manning had instructed McDonld, that under no circumstances any Carnival activities should be held at the Savannah.

It was only last Sunday, Nancoo took McDonald, Minister of State in the Ministry, Donna Cox and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry Junia Regrello on a tour of the area at the Savannah.

Nancoo then announced that the Parade of the Bands will remain on the road for Carnival 2008. He added that all major pre-Carnival shows normally staged in Port of Spain (including the King and Queen of Carnival competition and Panorama semi-finals) will, however, be presented at the facility currently being constructed on the south-eastern end of Savannah. Nancoo also said then that the facility was expected to be completed on January 10.

Panorama semi-finals are scheduled for January 20. Attempts to contact Nancoo throughout the day at his office and on his mobile phone proved futile.

In addition the official launch of Carnival has been canceled and the new Culture Minister is mum on the subject. Seems like someone has gotten wind of the conflict between building a structure in the Savannah while mas remains on the streets! At least I am hoping that an official of the NCC, NCBA, NCDF and Ministry of Culture knows that we masqueraders are quite displeased over the whole situation; but if the result is to stop work altogether on the Savannah venue that is just a low blow.

Maybe someone does not want to rile or embarrass ex Culture Minister Joan Yuille Williams who stated firmly that Carnival will NOT return to the Savannah until the new Carnival Centre is built, yet here is her replacement seemingly making the "impossible" possible. What this bodes for us masqueraders only time will tell, though knowing the stance from this year I am sure the NCBA will grind their heels in and rave at how well mas on the move was, a smoke screen for those "bandleaders" sticking their heads in the sand.

Do not forget to SIGN THE PETITION, please do not use any aliases or nicknames, initials will do if you do not want to use your real name. Regardless of what happens all your signatures and comments will be forwarded to these "decision makers", since everyone is deciding on what is best for US without asking us what is best for us. We the masqueraders are the ones who put on the world's greatest show and for once we will let our voices be heard!

Peter Samuel and friends join Masquerade

Finally, word on Masquerade since the website is still not up and I did not get a chance to visit the mas camp, which will be rectified soon enough:

Peter Samuel & Friends

Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! to one and all. First let me apologise for the long time without any news. Things are hectic as usual and plans are underway for carnival 2008. First off, we’ll be participating in Masquerade's presentation “Caribbean Splendour“, an exposition of colour and dynamics that I’ m sure that you’ll enjoy.

We know that the season is short and that money will be tight, and in checking around it's clear that everyone has gone crazy with their prices ($2,375.00 - $5,000.00) that is one of the main reason that we choose Masduerade, as their costumes are affordable ($1,800.00 - $1,975.00) All-Inclusive and they are also well made and finished.

Our mas camp is located in the same place as the last two years (2006/2007) 40 Alberto Street , Woodbrook, where you can see the designs up close, we’ll be open from 10.00.a.m. on Wednesday 12th December 2007. There will be the usual lime at Masquerade mas camp ( 19 DeVertueil Street Woodbrook) for all masqueraders and friends on Saturday 29th December 2007 from 5.00.p.m.

For further information please do not hesitate to e-mail

Best wishes to all,

Peter Samuel

For a gallery of photos from Masquerade's media launch visit

News from D Krewe

Masqueraders registered with D Krewe should be quite happy to know that "fast tracking" costume payments does not entitle them to only a special line to collect their costumes but also a chance to win TWO cars! Yup, if your costume is paid in full by January 18th 2008, you, D Krewe masquerader are eligible to win this prize. Also, note that the mas camp will be closed for the Christmasl period from December 19th to January 1st, reopening on January 2nd 2008.

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