The post-mortem on San Fernando's dying Carnival took place at the San Fernando City Hall auditorium on Wednesday night and was attended by a handful of stakeholders who called for more consultation, better routes and proper judging criteria for next year's Carnival.
But San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello told stakeholders that change was coming and that if they had to keep San Fernando Carnival alive, businesspeople had to come on board to lend support.
The event took place on Wednesday night at the City Hall auditorium and involved analysis of Kiddies Mas, Carnival Monday and Tuesday, Night Mas and Jouvert.
Regrello said the San Fernando City Corporation (SFCC) received $250,000 on Ash Wednesday which represented 50 per cent of what was promised.
"We are keeping our fingers crossed, but we need to move Carnival away from dependency on the State. We have to be self-sufficient," Regrello said.
The cost of Carnival in San Fernando is about $3 million and Regrello said corporate bodies should be sponsoring more events.
He also advised mas leaders not to support businessmen if they do not contribute to Carnival.
"These businessmen stop buying their cloth, their feathers, their wire, their paint, their materials," Regrello said.
He also advised the Jouvert bandleaders to entice their revellers to join Tuesday mas.
A list of recommendations was made by Jouvert winner and bandleader Anthony Charles who called on the SFCC to consult more with the bandleaders before making decisions.
He also said that judges should stipulate the criteria for judging so that bandleaders could better prepare.
Noting there was chaos over the routes and a breakdown in communication, some of the stakeholders complained that "the mother of all Carnival" was so bad in San Fernando that spectators were barred from entering the city to see the pretty mas.
"People were being wrecked for parking. They could not enter the city and there was a breakdown in communication with the San Fernando Carnival Committee," one bandleader complained.
Longstanding mas band leader Susan Harriuot who has led the Ecles Village AC and Friends for the past 29 years said the children were in a quandary during Kiddies mas when the gates of the Creative Arts Centre were locked.
"This year when we got there the gates were closed, children scampering in a little area at the bottom of the street and there was no place for the children to dress. There were a lot of police officers but we were accustomed to the gates being opened," she said.
Harriot said she was not in favour of a 1 pm start to Kiddies mas as Children's mas was supposed to finish at 5 pm or 6 pm.
Regrello said he heard about the wrecking and when he spoke to the police he was told that "the law is the law."
He said he planned to make a plea for leniency for 2024. Regrello also said a new route will be used once the waterfront project is completed.
"We think with the completion of work on the waterfront, that will lend itself for a better flow. We will avoid the hills and hospital. We can do the Cipero Street, Lady Hailes and that may very well be the route of the future," he said.