Kiddies mas steals the show in San Fernando

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Children have a ball in JCE Mas production’s The Tribute during San Fernando Kiddies Carnival on Harris Promenade on Sunday.
– Lincoln Holder

From the Syrian dancer to the Indian dancer, the snake woman, and to the spirit of Africa, scores of children portrayed various characters on the streets of San Fernando on Sunday for Kiddies Carnival, the first in two years owing to the covid19 pandemic.

Starting at Circular Road near the OWTU building, the children gathered and filled the streets with colours, music and vibes. The San Fernando Carnival Committee hosted the event.

The event was set to start at 10 am, but the first band crossed the judges’ stage at the bandstand at Harris Promenade at 12.47 pm.

Blaze de Trail, presented by Heart and Soul, pays tribute to the Mighty Shadow during San Fernando Kiddies Carnival on Harris Promenade on Sunday. – Lincoln Holder

JCE Mas Production, of Freeport, in collaboration with Gran Couva and Chickland police youth clubs, started the event with The Tribute. The band’s leaders were Jason Mohammed, a designer, and Mary Mac Quan-Mohammed.

Masquerader Emma Mohammed portrayed The Bussle Dance while Chelsey Mohammed portrayed Cadoo, a snake woman protector of the corn.

It is believed that the “Great Father” gave the snake woman authority over all growing things, and she shared her harvest with many people. But corn was special to her, saying it required special care.

Another masquerader was Jada-Marie Mohammed with The Fan Dancer.

The band was followed by Carivog Kids of Freeling Street, San Fernando, with its presentation TT cultural dance-athon. It was led by Valarie Alleyne- Noriega.

There were several individual portrayals like Victoria Huggins with African Queen, Khloe Kamaria with Spirit of Africa, and Aria Iesha with Syrian Dancer.

The third band, Jagessar Costumes, paid tributes to renowned mas icon and king of traditional mas, Lionel Jagessar, 72, who died in September.

This year’s presentation was Unforgettable.

Maqueraders enjoy playing traditional Indian mas in Lionel Jagessar mas band’s Unforgettable. – Lincoln Holder

Jagessar’s widow, veteran mas designer and Carnival Queen Rose Marie Kuru-Jagessar, cried as she stood next to the master of ceremonies and national award recipient, Walid Baksh, to introduce the band.

She composed herself and then introduced herself as the “wife of the late unforgettable Lionel Jagessar.”

She added it was the first time in 44 years she was without him for Carnival.

“Today, I present you with the rest of his designs. This year is about his legacy. His life was mas. Thank you for choosing Jagessar Costumes and sharing in keeping Lionel’s dreams alive,” Kuru-Jagessar said.

“As long as God gives me health and strength, I will continue to live Lionel’s dream.”

Masqueraders in the section Fah-Fu-Ray from the band by the House of Jacqui. – Lincoln Holder

Rain drizzled as the children faced the judges. But it did not stop the youngsters from jumping and dancing to hit songs like Kees “Kes” Dieffenthaller’s Mental Day, Machel Montano’s and Patrice Robert’s Like Yuh self, and Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez’s Hard Fete.

The fourth band was Heart and Soul, of Whiteland, with its presentation Soca Lingo.

The band leader was Maria Hankey, and the designer was Candice Cazeau.

The band’s first of four sections was Play Ah Mas, followed by Dingolay. Dingolay was in tribute to the Dingolay singer, the late Winston “Mighty Shadow” Bailey.

In the section, Blaze in De Trail, children wore orange, red, yellow and gold costumes, the colours representing fire.

The last section was Release the Rhythm, a tribal section that represents music.

A masquerader in Carivog’s TT Cultural dance-athon band. – Lincoln Holder

The fifth band was House of Jacqui, led by Jacqui Koon How, with Dat is ah Trini.

There were several individual portrayals like King Noel, six, with Ship Ahoy, Tenille Hospedales, 12, with Green with Envy, and Kaliah Noel, ten, with Pan by Storm.

The queen of the band, Netanya Phillip 11, portrayed La Reine Rive.

The band also presented several sections like Sunday is ah Boat Lime, We Must Buss ah Lime, We like too much Fah-Fu-Ray and We Culture is De Bess.

The band also included moko jumbies.

A total of 16 bands were expected to participate.