Over 60 bands take part in Junior Parade of Bands

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A masquerader of Ubuntu during their presentation I Am Because You Are while crossing the stage during the Junior Parade of Bands at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Over 60 bands graced the stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS) on Saturday with their brightly coloured pieces and loud soca music. Some of the themes represented were the wonders of TT – QPS, the Buccoo Reef, and the steelpan.

Veteran bandleader Roslind Gabriel continued to set a high standard for children’s mas with her presentation National Treasures, celebrating Carnival icons, among them calypsonian and soca legend Austin “Super Blue” Lyons, the late rapso pioneer Lutalo Makossa Masimba better known as Brother Resistance, and the late Wayne Berekely who holds the record for the most Band of the Year titles.

Super Blue also jumped up with the band accompanied by a group of toddlers dressed in royal blue with the bandana to match like he does.

Among the presentations in the original category were the Eclipse Junior Band’s Beauty of Mas, DMC Kids’s Soca Gold – Celebrating the Greatest and Carlene Perouse Happy People’s Sweet Tooth.

A member of Trini Minis enjoys herself during their presentation Neon Jumbies while crossing the stage during the Junior Parade of Bands at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Before the bands began crossing the stage, soca blared from the entrance of the stage. The bands passed with their music trucks and the booms emanating from it shook the crowd, while the children jumped and danced with big grins on their faces.

Though at the start, the crowd was a bit scarce, they were still seen bouncing in their seats and clapping to Hard Fete by Bunji Garlin and Come Home by Nailah Blackman and Skinny Fabulous, while cheering on the children. These songs played throughout the day.

Looking on, anyone could see how hard the creators worked on making these costumes, some of them having specific detailing to match the theme. Sweet Trinbago was one of those bands, there were six sets of costumes all representing the beauty of TT’s nature – Around D Savannah, Steelpan, Pitch Lake, Caroni Bird Sanctuary, Parang, and Buccoo Reef.

The Steelpan masqueraders were dressed in red, white and black with a large gold collar decorated in small pictures of steelpans. They also had on black top hats and wore the national flag on their chests. The leader for their section wore a massive black and gold costume with paper mache steelpans and musical notes clearly displayed on a part of his back piece. Along with the musical notes, the back piece extended way off his body and it was fully gold with reflective stars and circles adored on it.

As for the Pitch Lake, the children were dressed in a black pants with an extended waist piece covered in a silver cobweb design. They also had a back piece that had multiple black feathers with silver detailing.

The frontliner of the Caroni Bird Sanctuary section was dressed in a long, brown hoop skirt with frills and long brown foam to represent the mangroves. The top was a green one and featured large leaves that’s meant to show the trees along the path used at the sanctuary. The two that followed were dressed in brown with a circular green back piece with a picture of the scarlet ibis.

The Parang children were dressed in the Christmas colours – red and green while the leader of that section wore a poinsettia costume. The costume was large and intricate seeing as though her long red hoop skirt had gold detailing and gold frills while her collar was meant to show the leaves that surround the poinsettia when it blooms. Those who followed were much younger and wore gold and red dresses and suits. They also had red polka dots on their gold tops and shirts with gold streams decorating their skirts and pants.

As for Buccoo Reef, they came out with their light blue costumes and a slightly darker blue detailing. They also had white round tubes coming out of their back that’s meant to showcase the corals that are found in the Tobago reef.

In Around D Savannah, this section had its own sections to show what can be found in QPS. Those were snowcones, butterflies, cotton candy, savannah grass, kite flying, poui and egrets.

Masqueraders from the band Prosper Us Kids during their presentation Tic Tok Angels while crossing the stage during the Junior Parade of Bands at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Every band had the opportunity to showcase their creativity and they did so using TT as their inspiration. Not only with nature being the main one, but also the culture of Carnival.

Seeing this, chairman of the National Carnival Council Winston “Gypsy” Peters thanked Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and Tourism, Culture and the Arts Minister Randall Mitchell for their contribution in events such as these that contribute to youth development.

He added, “Please keep on investing in our culture and our future because Carnival is for everyone.”