Vendors complain of slow foot traffic on Carnival Monday

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Revellers from the Yellow Devils J’Ouvert band parade through the streets of Woodbrook. – Photo by Roger Jacob

VENDORS in Port of Spain complained of slow foot traffic on Carnival Monday which was a result of a change in the route which diverted revellers away from the street.

Newsday spoke to vendors on upper Frederick Street and around the Queen’s Park Savannah who said sales for this Carnival season took a nosedive.

One vendor who did not wish to be named said she set up her tent since Carnival Friday.

“It’s okay but it’s slow,” She said. “We aren’t getting the foot traffic that we were expecting.”

“The bands are not really passing here, they are passing around. Only a few people passing through when they come back from the savannah,” said April La Croix from Santa Cruz.

Previously, bands passed through upper Frederick street to get to the savannah where drinks, food, knick knacks and other items are sold. However, this year the route saw bands on Park Street and then up Charlotte street on the east side of Memorial Park, where the vendors are located.

Other vendors around the savannah complained of a lack of access to facilities

“They know that we have to sleep here but they are closing the bathroom facilities at six,” said Shervon from Santa Cruz.

La Croix told Newsday that for the past few days she has been depending on the kindness of security from nearby facilities who give her access to the bathrooms at their buildings.

Vendors also lamented over the increase in price of the tent spaces increased from $700 to $900.

At the savannah stage, the first band to cross was Ronnie and Caro with Bush Fire.

Bright reds and vibrant gold was the colour theme for the band.

The Lost Tribe was the second big band to cross. Revellers’ costumes covered the stage in bright green as they crossed the stage. Both big bands chose Bunji Garlin’s Carnival Contract as the song to cross.

Tariq Ferdinand, a Belmont resident, said it was his first time crossing the stage.

“It is bliss! It is freedom! It is joy and family,” he said. “It is part of our culture and I loved every second of it. Your energy might be low at the moment but when you hear the music the vibes comes up.”

Amy Wabassi, another first- time reveller who flew to TT from Boston, Massachusetts, said it was a feeling like no other.

“It’s amazing! Its one of the best feelings in the world. Its blissful. The way people are just so happy to be here its and indescribable.”