Sunday, 05 August 2012 09:41
By caribarena news
Antigua St. John's - Tight police security has been promised; and the Carnival Development Committee (CDC) is taking a hard-line approach to ensure prompt starts for J'ouvert celebrations, Last Lap and Carnival Monday and Tuesday's Parade and Judging of the Bands.
These climactic events are expected to attract up to 12 thousand revelers.
A shortened route has been introduced to this year's J'ouvert celebrations scheduled to begin at 3 am, as the sub-committee coordinating the event tries to facilitate the smoother flow of bands.
Under the new rules Bands will start jamming on Independence Drive, travel down Redcliffe Street, make a right onto Thames Street, take another right onto High Street, and turn right onto Independence Drive to repeat the route.
New entrants High Tempa and Energy will round off the complement of 10 jam bands that will be on the road for the morning session.
The number of troupes remains almost unchanged from last year, even though LIAT and APUA - staples of J'ouvert, will be absent.
"The police have promised us good security" said sub-committee chairman Morville Benjamin.
His deputy Kirk Francis added: "We're just hoping that people come out and have clean fun, no violence."
The two have promised to strictly implement the 3 pm start for the Judging of the Bands, and those participating will have until 6 pm to cross the stage at Carnival City for judging for the coveted Band of the Year title.
Competing for the first time in the medium band category is Ignazia.
On Tuesday, the Parade of the Bands is scheduled to begin at 11 am; however, Francis said bands should be gathering between 10 am ad 10:30 am at the starting point at Multi-Purpose Cultural Centre.
From there they will travel up Market Street, down Newgate Street, onto Popeshead Street, up St John's Street, onto Cross Street, up High Street, and into Carnival City.
As usual, the winners of the different carnival competitions – Queen of Carnival, Kaiso and Soca Monarch, Teen Splash and Junior Calypsonians will be part of the parade. The parade will also feature four steel bands led by Panorama Champions LIME Hells Gate, and four cheerleading groups - along with some seven floats.
Inspection of flatbeds started on Saturday afternoon to ensure that truck wheels are protected, and that a limited number of people are on top to reduce the possibilities of injuries on the road.
The sub-committee is operating with a specific objective in mind, it was revealed, and that is to wipe out lingering dissatisfaction with the end of last year's carnival. The climax of the Bacchanal had to be pushed back by four days, due to bad weather that rendered the grounds at Carnival City soggy and unsuitable for bands.
"Last year was rained out, so we didn't get to execute our duties like we think we would have done - but this year we definitely want to be prompt. We, as a committee, already planned that when 11 am (strikes) we would start with the bands that are there," said Francis.
"If it starts on time and there's cooperation people will forget about the situation last year."
And with the constant threat of rain, Benjamin expressed hope that weather would be favourable for the remainder of the festivity.
"We're hoping that the weather holds off until after the festivities because to go through that again would be time consuming and would mean more expenditure on the part of the government and the revelers."
On Tuesday, the celebration ends with Las’ Lap - that begins 7 pm and ends at 12 midnight.
Participants will travel down High Street, make a left onto Thames Street, another left onto Redcliffe Street, then take a left onto Independence Drive.