FOR those who love the sounds and smells of the Christmas season, another opportunity was created for them to enjoy that festive feel, usually associated with that time of the year.
The National Parang Association (NPATT) hosted "The night before, Christmas in July' at its Hollis Avenue, Arima headquarters last Saturday.
The term, if not the exact concept, was given national attention with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy Christmas in July in 1940. In the story, a man is fooled into believing he has won $25,000 in an advertising slogan contest. He buys presents for family, friends, and neighbors, and proposes marriage to his girlfriend.
The concept however gets its origin in 1892 from a French opera with libretto. In the story, a group of children rehearse a Christmas song in July, to which a character responds: "When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season." Just after performing with his band Los Amigos Cantadores, NPATT vice president Neal Marcano spoke about the reason behind the event.
"It is not a Trini thing, I believe the French did it first, you're out of your season but you still want to create the season you love outside your season." He explained that Sweet 100.1 fm radio station were the pioneers in Trinidad about two years ago and they received favourable feedback.
He said, "NPATT reasoned, that if people are enjoying it, why not have it. The responses have been good and it feels like December. If people ketching the vibes, we want out patrons to love it. This is our second year and it's bigger than last year. We will do it every year until we can full out the Arima Velodrome again."
Asked to respond to those who might suggest they are rushing the Christmas season, Marcano said, "People are enjoying the break in the routine. It also gives us an opportunity to encroach on the time and territory of other genres of music, who many believe do the same to us during the Christmas season.
The show started with harpist David Singh and was quickly followed by the best bands in the country. Reigning National Parang Champions Voces Jovenes, Los Alumos de San Juan with lead singer and NPATT President Alicia Jagessar; Los Buenos Parrenderos San Jose Serenaders; Amantes de Parranda; Solo Para ti; Lopinot Canarios and La Esperanza de Parranda all performed with distinction. Christmas delicacies were also on sale, lending to the already festive atmosphere.