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Party on the road


RANDY BENNETT

Party on the road

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THE POLICE AND marshals were in place along the route well before the scheduled 9 a.m. start of yesterday’s Christ Church Carnival – but the music trucks were nowhere to be found.
However, that didn’t stop the more than 300 masqueraders who finally took to the streets just after 10 a.m from enjoying themselves during the almost four-hour jump-up from Silver Sands to Wotton.
The first band, Swerve, which featured mostly women decked out in white T-shirts and fluorescent pink and purple tights, didn’t take to the road until more than an hour after the scheduled start, due to the late arrival of some of the music trucks.
And even after they departed, the second band, Pressure Point, was forced to wait another hour before its anxious members got their chance to “wind and grind,” along the route.
In the end, only four of the expected eight bands took part in the carnival, with the other two being Masqueraded Fantasies, owned by popular Facebook blogger Dominus PHD, and T.S Strikers and the HIV Commission bands, which merged to form Below Rock Jammers.
Thousands more revellers lined the route from the starting point, along Enterprise, Oistins, Church Hill and Gall Hill to take in the spectacle during yesterday’s Whit Monday bank holiday.
By the time the first band made its way onto the Wotton Playing Field around 1:45, hundreds more spectators had already converged on the pasture, which was also heavily manned by police officers.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Stephen Lashley, who was at the Silver Sands start point, told the DAILY NATION that despite the glitches, he was very pleased with how everything had gone.
He confirmed there were plans in the works to turn the carnival into an annual event.
“The community is abuzz and I am quite excited. I believe that this is the first stage and along the route you will see a good response,” Lashley pointed out.
“I believe that as we move from year to year we will have a better event. It is our intention to make it an annual event and my ministry will provide as much help and support as we think is necessary,” he added.
And while the late start would have left several of the masqueraders frustrated, many still admitted to having a good time on the road.
“There’s a lot of security and they are playing good music so I’m having a ball,” a female from Masqueraded Fantasies belted out while gyrating to Gorg’s My Rum.
“The wait at the beginning was too long, but otherwise it’s going ok,” a girl who opted to give her name only as Keisha explained.
Ryan Small, though, had other reasons to “jump for joy”.
“There are a lot more women than men in this band, so I am doing the dawg.”
Although the carnival meant several traffic restrictions were in effect for nearby residents and the surrounding districts, they still welcomed the event.
One resident, who had been living in the area for close to 20 years, said she had no problems with the loud noise or the fact that some roads were inaccessible.
“This is a good thing because it gives the young people an opportunity to enjoy themselves,” the elderly woman said.
“Usually I would be inside watching television, but because of the carnival, me and a lot of other residents will come outside and watch it.”
Co-organiser Rodney King explaimed that since this was the first year for the event the hiccups were expected.
However, he described it as a successful event as most of the revellers on the road had enjoyed themselves.
One of those who complimented the initiative was Jason Bourne, the organiser of Swerve.
He revealed that the close to 70 revellers in the band had very few complaints.
Swerve was the only band that featured a live performance as calypso artiste Scrilla accompanied the music truck for the duration of the jump.
“All in all it still came off good. It was a bit of poor organisation at the start, but this is only the first year so I expect things to be much better next year,” Bourne said.
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