CHARLES KONG SOO
The National Carnival Commission launched its Carnival 2023 The Mother of All Carnivals at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, yesterday with a parade of traditional Carnival characters such as Pierrot Grenades, Dames Lorraine, Moko Jumbies, Jab Jabs, Midnight Robbers, Gorillas, Fancy Indians, Fancy Sailors, Blue Devils, mud mas, pretty mas, and steel bands.
Some of the headline cast were Bunji Garlin, Patrice Roberts, Nailah Blackman, Nadia Batson and other artistes.
Speaking to Guardian Media National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters said "It really is The Mother of All Carnivals, and we're planning to make it the biggest festivity we've ever had in the country for a long time.
"It's been two years and some since we've had any Carnival in this country and people are willing and longing to exhale.
"We just had Tobago Carnival and that was an indication of how people felt about having a Carnival, and we have an estimated budget spent on the launch of between $ 1.3 to $1.5 m."
When asked if there were any surprise international personalities scheduled to take part in Carnival 2023, he responded that they don't need any foreign influencers in terms of people and T&T was the mecca of Carnival, its birthplace.
Alana Stanisclaus-Boyd said she was elated to be there at the event. She said that it had been years of no Carnival, it was like the essence of T&T to be there experiencing all the different activities going on, and it was mind-blowing.
While the majority of people were pleased with the launch, it was not all smooth sailing for The Mother of All Carnivals as there were some issues still to be worked out.
The carnival characters Baby Doll and Gorilla make an odd couple during the National Carnival Commission Launch of Carnival 2023 at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
Everod Clarke from Las Lomas said he came to the launch with his wife and two of her friends.
He said that they left home intending to reach for noon, but they reached late because of traffic.
Clarke explained that they were made to stand outside the venue in the hot sun.
He said he found this to be insensitive and distasteful, they were then told that they could enter the Grand Stand at 3 pm, and then this was changed to 4 pm.
Clarke fumed that no one had the foresight to provide a tent for the people to wait in the shade.
The patron suggested to some of the employees that they should allow the patrons to enter early but was told the manager was not around.
He said he was not attending anything free again, that he was going to pay his money to choose his seat or go to Queen's Hall.