Akash Samaroo, Guardian T&T
energiesNet.com 02 22 2023
Telling spectators for what may have been the umpteenth time to keep the staircases clear, the fire officer turned to Guardian Media and declared, “This is plenty people boy!”
So much so that for a while, people sat in the walkways of the lower tier in one of the stands at the Jean Pierre Complex, with officials pleading with newcomers to utilise the stand on the opposite end of the Socadrome state.
At midday, another fire officer estimated that there were around 600 spectators in just one of the stands. He attributed this to the fact that the Socadrome was such a family friendly environment.
“I won’t be surprised if they decide to have Kiddie’s Carnival here next year instead,” he added.
Those in the stands who spoke with Guardian Media echoed the officer’s sentiment about the location’s pull for those who choose to spend Carnival watching instead of wining.
Arthur Chanansingh brought his family to sit in the stands because of the good reviews he saw from family-oriented people on the Socadrome in years gone by.
“After a certain age, when you can’t participate again, this is a good way to introduce the younger ones to Carnival,” he said.
For Alita Ali, it was her first time and she too took her child.
“For two years we were locked up in our house and my daughter begged me to see Carnival. Never in my life I came to look at mas but I did with her and we chose the Socadrome,” Ali said.
Sherena Keshwar, however, Socadrome veteran.
“It’s such a liberating and relaxing vibe in the stands,” she told Guardian Media.
Bianca Guerra, who’s usually in a costume come Carnival Tuesday, said it was a nice change of pace to spectate. She was also not surprised that many others followed suit.
“The vibes is in the air and the vibes is really nice here,” Guerra said.
There was no cover charge for those in the stands.
But there were some complaints, mainly about the state of the bathrooms, with a few vowing not to return next year.
Meanwhile, masqueraders who crossed the Socadrome’s stage said Carnival’s absence taught them that they took the season for granted in years gone by.
“The last two years were disappointing and sad, but I knew one day it would come back, so I was ready, but I’m still wearing my masks and taking precautions when I go into enclosed spaces,” said masquerader Tarini Bedassie.
In fact, quite a few said that now, knowing how easily Carnival can be taken away, while they’re happy to be back out they were still minding health protocols.
“We took this for granted but it makes us more aware that we need to be cautious to have more Carnivals again because it’s in our nature,” said Donny Ali.
YUMA, Tribe, The Lost Tribe, Bliss, Pure, Harts and Rogue all crossed the Socadrome stage. It is not an official judging point but was started in 2014 by Tribe and YUMA as a solution to avoid the congestion of all the major bands competing to cross the Queen’s Park Savannah.
guardian.co.tt 02 21 2023