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Vincy Mas – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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14.JUL.06

The Good

This Carnival, there is much to praise, little to fault. This was by most accounts a good Carnival with our artistes performing at a high level and few reported incidents of violence.

First of all, Victoria Park was in wonderful shape. Credit must be given to the National Lotteries Authority and the Carnival Development Corporation for their work on the physical infrastructure.{{more}}

It is good that after over twenty years paying his dues, I-Pa has been deservedly crowned calypso monarch in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Congratulations, I-Pa. Princess Monique continues to be the epitome of professionalism and class as a calypsonian, and the well-loved Poorsah made a triumphant re-entry to the calypso competition shooting straight into the top three in his first year back. These three led a field of calypsonians who this year, performed 20 calypsoes which give hope for the survival of the artform, despite the complaints of the calypsonians themselves.

Kudos go out to Commissioner Keith Miller, the officers and men of the police force who deserve medals for their contribution to the festival this year. The security forces did a great job in keeping acts of violence down this Carnival. Law enforcement officers could be seen at virtually every street corner in Kingstown last weekend, and for the first time in five years, there were no murders during the festival.

We applaud the CDC for implementing the “No Bottle” policy which seems to have been a resounding success. Information from the Accident and Emergency Department of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital indicates that the number of cases of people with injuries from broken bottles was at an all time low.

J’Ouvert and Monday afternoon jump-up are back. After many years of being on their deathbeds, these activities made a triumphant resurrection this year. Carnival traditionalists can breathe a sigh of relief, not only because these activities have made a return but because of the high level of participation among the youngsters.

For yet another year, our Mas men and sweet Soca did not disappoint. Our Tuesday Mas presentations compare favorably with any international festival. Some even say we are third only to Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago, and only because our numbers are smaller, not because of the quality of our costumes. Our Soca continues to be among the best exports we have, and certainly the best international marketer of Vincy Mas. Congrats to Skarypon and Jamesy-P for winning the Road March. That song will go places internationally.

The workers of the Public Health Department again need to be commended for their hard work morning after morning cleaning up after the night before. Kingstown was back in reasonable shape by 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Remarkable, especially since this year, the workers had the additional task of dealing with the excessive number of plastic and paper cups which is the only negative aspect of the “No bottle” policy.

The Bad

That patrons of shows at the Victoria Park are still expected to sit for between six and eight hours at shows. We need to put heads together in the next few months to see how we can repackage the shows to shorten them without reducing their quality.

Kingstown shut down too early on Monday night. This added insult to injury especially for our visitors who have been complaining of far too few entertainment spots at which to party.

The Ugly

The stench of urine that permeated the town for the entire weekend. Portable toilets needed to be placed at strategic locations, as what goes in must come out. The practice of leaning against the nearest wall or stooping somewhere to relieve oneself is not only unpleasant and unsightly, but unhealthy.

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