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Carnival 2013 blasts off at Solidarity Car Park

Carnival 2013 blasts off at Solidarity Car Park

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Carnival is officially here!On Saturday, May 4, the Solidarity Inc Car Park was converged upon by hundreds of people, who flocked to the venue to witness the official launch of Vincy Mas 2013.{{more}}

Despite the one-hour late start, Vincentians from all over the country got the first taste of what is in store for this year’s festivities.

The most Reverend Dean Patrick McIntosh of St George’s Cathedral was on hand at the launch to bless Vincy Mas, following which, the Junior Pan Players from the Symphonix Steel Orchestra played the national anthem.

Speaking at the launch, chairman of the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) Dennis Ambrose, said this year is significant to the CDC because it marks the 50th anniversary of the Band of the Year competition.

“We must recognise that this is the commitment to the masqueraders and band leaders that we must honour and recognise those who have toiled to make Mas what it is today…,” he said.

He announced that this year, the CDC in collaboration with the Mas Bands Association will honour mas men Owen Ralph and Julian “Pilling” Pollard for their “sterling” contribution to the development of Carnival.

The honouring ceremony will take place on the night of the Dimanche Gras on July 7, at Victoria Park.

Ambrose assured patrons to look forward to “new” and “fresh” innovations into some of the scheduled events slated for the Carnival season.

He said the merger of the Soca Monarch and Ragga Soca competitions will only serve to augment the already “mammoth” and exciting show.

“Now, you will have 10 of the best Ragga Soca artistes competing at the same event with 15 of best Soca artistes for the respective titles.”

Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture Cecil McKie who also spoke, said this year’s carnival is going to be a special one.

“It is going to be a trial year; it is going to be a test year. It is going to be a year when we prepare ourselves for the new world that would open for us 2014. It is going to be a year when we put everything in place to ensure that we are ready for the world that will come to us when we have our international airport…,” McKie said.

McKie added that he is happy to know that the shows lined up for this year will be more inclusive and that patrons can look forward to greater things at Victoria Park and throughout the country.

The minister said his ministry has been listening to visitors and locals who have attended carnival shows in the past and noted that one of their main problems was the lack of activities/entertainment across the country.

“We have been in discussion with several stakeholders over the past days and weeks and I am happy to announce that we will be responding to those requests…,” McKie stated.

Following the speeches, the eight contestants for the this year’s Miss SVG pageant made an appearance at the show. This was followed by the Extempore competition and the New Song Calypso competition.

The Ragga Soca and Soca competitions were next to follow, along with guest performances by Daneel Viera and Shaunel McKenzie of LIME Soca Dans.

The Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra also entertained the crowd with sweet pan music.

There was also a Mas showcase presentation by 10 Mas bands, exhibiting some of their production for 2013.

Calypso, Road March and Ragga Soca monarch for 2012 Lornett “Fire Empress” Nedd was full of vigour as she sat on a man’s neck and had him walk through the crowd as she belted out some of her hit songs that sent patrons wild.

Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle”, 2012 soca monarch, also did not disappoint. From the time he rushed the stage, the crowd came even more alive as they jumped, wined, and waved to his smash hits.

A band performance was also done by Akcess.

The show came to a close shortly before 2 a.m. with the crowning of the New Song winners.

Meanwhile earlier on Saturday, before the official launch at the Solidarity Inc Car Park, children were entertained by leading junior calypsonians and soca artistes at a Carnival village set up at Heritage Square.

Also, on Saturday afternoon, there were street jump ups starting on the Leeward and Windward sides of the island, ending at the Car Park.

The jump up on the Leeward side of the island was marred by a violent incident between police and some revellers, which left two young men hospitalized with gun shot wounds.

Chairman of the CDC Dennis Ambrose, while addressing the launch, said the “unfortunate incident” was not “reflective of the spirit of Carnival.

“We have no formal details and can’t comment any further,” he said.

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