THE EDITOR: I am a great admirer of the tremendous work effort put in by the chairman of the National Carnival Commission, Winston “Gypsy” Peters, as he strives tirelessly to improve and promote TT’s biggest tourism product – Carnival.
Peters’ efforts should be supported by all stakeholders.
Not so long ago this country appeared forlorn when the Sandals Group pulled out of its Tobago endeavour. It is said that in the abundance of water the fool is thirsty. This nation continues to look for foreign saviours to do for us what we should be doing ourselves.
The greatest promotional act any government can make to promote tourism and our Carnival is to officially change the name of our capital from Port of Spain to Carnival City or use Carnival City as an appendage until dropping Port of Spain altogether. Thus officially making us the home of Carnival.
If we do this we would gain year-round priceless advertisement and mileage at air and seaports around the world. Every transaction in and out of the capital will serve to spread our claim to Carnival.
I can think of a number of year-round cultural events in the city (some can be used for educational purposes) that can be funded by Tourism Trinidad Ltd and promoted internationally to enhance the Carnival City status: Pan on the Avenue, St James We Beat, Ethel Street Divali celebrations, Big 5 pan concert, Trinidad All Stars Classical Jewels, Emancipation street procession, Laventille steelband parade, Invaders J’Ouvert, Calypso History Month, to name a few.
And we can and should create more events such as the re-enactment of the 1970 Black Power uprising/revolution and the 1990 Muslimeen coup attempt.
A move to rename the city will in the long run bring much greater benefits to us, much bigger in my view than Sandals or the renaming of Piarco Airport or calling Charlotte Street Chinatown. Let us have the world’s first Carnival City. We should lead, not follow.
The name Carnival City encompasses every race or ethnicity in TT. We have had participation in Carnival by Le Heung, Hart, Humphrey, Bailey, Minshall, Morris, McWilliams, Derek, Saldenha, Velasquez, Berkeley, Gabriel, Kalicharan and Mac Farlane, to name a few. We need to use what we have and build on it and there is no bigger product than our Carnival – use it or lose it.