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'Let the mas begin'
Posted By: News
Date: Monday, 3 March 2003, at 8:49 a.m.
By FRANCIS JOSEPH, Newsday TT
AFTER all the controversy and fears that Carnival could be affected by the reports of crime and possible terrorist attacks, the greatest show on earth gets going this morning.
Jouvert which started at 2 am in previous years, has been pushed back two hours because of the crime situation over the last year. Despite the high murder rate last year and the kidnappings which continue to be a concern, the managers of the Carnival festival are confident that everything will go well. Port-of-Spain Mayor Murchison Brown is anticipating a good Jouvert celebration in the city. Most of the winners of Carnival have already been announced. Iwer George captured the National Lotteries Soca Monarch title on Friday night with “Ah Home”. Rikki Jai had to share the Chutney Monarch crown with Heeralal Rampartap. Exodus won the National Panorama title on Saturday night for the second time in three years playing De Fosto’s “Pandora”.
The Calypso Monarch was crowned last night at the Dimanche Gras show at the Queen’s Park Savannah along with the King and Queen of Carnival. Skatie (Carlos James) and Roger George shared the Young Kings title, while Heather Mc Intosh walked away with the NWAC Queen crown. Chalkdust won TUCO’s Calypso King competition, while Singing Sandra dethroned Denyse Plummer to take the Queen title. Now, the battle begins for Band of the Year and Road March. There are really two contenders for the Road March title - Iwer George and Faye Ann Lyons, daughter of Super Blue. George, still glowing from the Soca Monarch triumph, has been ahead of the race during the latter stages of the season with “Ah Home”. But Lyons has gained considerably on him in the final week and if judging by the number of times the songs were played at the Junior Band of the Year Parade on Saturday, her tune “Display” is on the way to stardom. Her fourth place showing in the Soca Monarch competition is added incentive to her getting the Road March title which her illustrious father had won eight times before.
Last year’s Road March winner Naya George will depend on his brother Iwer to take the title and keep it in Point Fortin. After last year’s Band of the Year competition, chaos broke out when the results were announced. When NCB chairman Richard Afong’s band Barbarossa was declared the Band of the Year winner, the Legends bandleaders took court action over the results. With the court ruling that it cannot interfere in the internal wrangling, several bands broke away from the NCBA and formed a rival group. With a divided community among the bands, the National Carnival Commission (NCC) decided to form a management committee to run Carnival. This did not go down too well with the NCBA who went to court and sought to get $2.1 million to run certain shows in Carnival. But after several hearings, Justice David Myers ruled that the NCC was the lawful body to run the shows. Since then, the NCBA announced that it was taking a back seat and playing no part in the running of certain shows.
The main race will now be for the Band of the Year. Legends is coming with Bedazzled, while Poison will portray Fleurs de Passion. Masquerade and Funtasia have Colours of the Wind, while Barbarossa will depend on Comme Se Comme Sa. Peter Minshall will produce Ship of Fools with Trini Revellers hitting the streets with Gathering of the Tribes. This year, bands are required to visit both the Queen’s Park Savannah and the South Quay venues if they want to qualify for Band of the Year honours.
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