Heat in the savannah as at least 14 collapse

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Masqueraders from Ronnie and Caro’s Bushfire enjoy themselves during the Parade of the bands at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

More than a dozen people collapsed due to heat-related issues at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Tuesday as temperatures reached a scorching 32 degrees Celsius.

According to a doctor stationed at the medic room in the Grand Stand, up until 2 pm, they had to attend to 14 people, the majority of whom had shown dehydration-related symptoms caused by the heat.

In many cases, doctors were able to orally administer rehydration salts and in some cases, the patients were rehydrated using intravenous methods. The doctor said none of the cases were considered to be serious.

Despite the heat, spectators sat in the shade of the stand, some with paper fans in hand, and enjoyed the parade of the bands.

On hand to witness the parade was Venezuela’s Ambassador to TT Alvaro Sanchez Cordero who told Newsday he was happy to have seen many of his countrymen on the streets participating in the festivities.

“Venezuela and TT have been united culturally for hundreds of years. Carnival is something we have in our own tradition and customs anyway, so as soon as Venezuelans are here and they realise the way that Trinbagonians celebrate Carnival, they immediately feel part of it because it’s part of who we are.”

Cordero commended TT citizens for what he described as a “brilliant display” of culture and called for it to be shared with the world.

“This needs to be enhanced and portrayed, not only locally and regionally, but universally. It’s a cultural heritage that must be preserved, and I’m very happy to see the whole of the TT people embracing it and participating in it.”

Meanwhile, a spectator who was there with her six-year-old son said she wanted to expose him to the culture from a young age.

Asked if she was concerned about the costumes, or lack thereof, being worn by some masqueraders, the woman said she explained to him that Carnival had a dress code of its own.

“He asked me why the women were not wearing pants and I told him that is how they dress for Carnival. I am playing mas next year though so I had to tell him that mummy will not be dressing like those other women.”

Bunji Garlin’s Carnival Contract appeared to be the song of choice at the Grand Stand with the majority of bands playing it as masqueraders rushed onto the stage.

It seemed the preference of the deejays was at odds with spectators as the majority of spectators polled by Newsday said they wanted Mical Teja’s DNA to win the road march title.