Tiny tots, children take over savannah stage

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Kay’lian Peterson portrays Chinese Influencia during the Red Cross Society Children’s Carnival at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

The Carnival big stage was host to scores of children from babes-in-arms to 16-year-olds who came out to have a good time and show off their costumes as they crossed the Queen’s Park Savannah stage during the Red Cross Society Children’s Carnival parade on Saturday.

The babes-in-arms inspired some heart-warming moments in observers, as some toddled and others were pushed across the stage in their costumes. As usual, it was amusing to see them not understanding that they had to cross the stage and wander in any direction.

A member of Next Level Devils crosses the stage during the Red Cross Society Children’s Carnival at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Some costumes were simpler than others, while the more elaborate costumes garnered prizes. Some of the younger ones were visibly distressed as they crossed the stage. Many of them didn’t know where to present themselves to the judges but were drawn to the TV and photo cameras. The theme of this year’s competition was the Joy of Mas.

The older children seemed to enjoy themselves as they crossed the stage and were proud to show off their costumes to the cameras and to dance in front of the judges.

Even when large numbers were crossing the stage, as with the small, medium and large bands, the children were disciplined, and it could be seen they had rehearsed the process.

Dragons, African depictions, nature depictions, mythical creatures, princes, princesses, tributes and places in Trinidad were some of the repeated themes portrayed during the day.

The wind was a factor affecting some of the larger costumes, with some contestants visibly struggling to push against it.

The most played songs were Mical “Teja” Williams’s DNA, Nailah Blackman and Lyrikal’s Best Self, and Shal Marshall and Kerwin DuBois’ Document We, which had the children bouncing around the stage.

Jae-Marie James portrays Mayura – Sacred Bird of Paradise during the Red Cross Society Children’s Carnival at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Ares Barkarr with his portrayal Here Comes The Groom in the boys 6-9 category was crowned king, while Shaziah Jagassar was crowned queen with her portrayal When It Rains It Pours in the girls 10-13 category.

Barkarr, who came from the Spoilt Rotten Kids medium band, was clad in East Indian wedding attire mounted on a white horse. Jagassar’s costume was composed of three tiers representing rain clouds with bolts of lightning at the top. She was part of the Bois Canot Junior Carnival Band, a medium band.

President Christine Kangaloo and her husband Kerwyn Garcia presented trophies to the children following the parade on Saturday.

The runner-up king was Shamarq Collis portraying Ah Just Pass to Show Meh Face in the boys 10-13 category, while the runner-up queen was Analee Rampersad with Tribute to Esther Theodore in the girls 6-9 category.

Over 100-plus volunteers took part in ensuring the process went smoothly, despite starting an hour late at noon. The contestants flowed smoothly onto the stage and there were no errors with numbering. The competition ended around 6 pm.

Sue-Lue Pompey portrays A flower in bloom during the Red Cross Society Children’s Carnival at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

The central section of the Grand Stand was approximately 75 per cent full, with more people on the drag waiting with the children than were present in the stand.

All first places are eligible for entry to the kings and queens finals on February 7 at Queen’s Park Savannah.

Emerging designers had an opportunity to showcase their designs during a segment of the show. They included Mila Smith with her Midnight Madame midnight robber design costume, Anushka Cuffy’s Praedo Veritatis (Robber for Truth) and Aisa Graham’s Pierrot Princess.

The Next Level Junior Devils also gave a demonstration of their craft, accompanied by biscuit tins and drums.