By Reshma Baal

The National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) has announced a change in the route for its junior parade of the bands on March 5.

This was announced at a media launch for the junior parade held at Republic Bank’s Conference Room, Republic House, Port-of-Spain yesterday.

Speaking at the launch, Retired Captain Neville Wint said the route was changed after a committee was established to review the parade route.

“Some of the concerns which were raised was the achievement of maximum pleasure for the kids, safety and the ability to complete the route in a certain period of time,” Wint said.

As such all bands are expected to gather at the corner of St Vincent Street and Independence Square at 7 am on the day of the parade.

“They will then proceed south to South Quay, east along South Quay, north along Broadway until the north of the Cipriani statue.

From there the bands will proceed north onto Frederick Street, where they will parade its entire length until the Queen’s Park Savannah,” said Wint.

He said this new route will be “easier and shorter” for masqueraders which will allow all bands to cross the Savannah stage by 3 pm and provide sufficient time for the start of the National Panorama Competition later on that evening. As an additional incentive to increase punctuality, general group counsel/corporate secretary at Republic Bank Jacqueline Quamina announced the bank will give $500 to the first ten bands that leave the starting point on time at 7.30 am. NCBA Junior Carnival representative and director of the Mas Academy, Valentine Jerry said no alcoholic beverages will be allowed on that day.

“Anyone associated with the parade will not be allowed to have any alcoholic drinks, as they will be removed,” said Jerry. He said junior parade was “meant for the kids, and they should be the ones enjoying that day.”

NCBA president David Lopez also asked the courts not to grant any bar licences for the sale of alcohol in the vicinity of the parade route and grounds.

“We will also be having a meeting with the NCBA’s 25 music trucks, where a ‘don’t play’ list will be established,” he said.

This is the third year in which the NCBA has partnered with Republic Bank to host the junior parade of the bands. The bank presented a one-million-dollar-cheque to the NCBA in sponsorship.

“Three years ago, our desire to preserve traditions led us to get involved in the Junior Parade. In that time we have not had a single regret,” said Quamina.


SOURCE: Trinidad Newsday