All is in place for the Crown Point J’Ouvert on February 24 with mud, paint and immeasurable fun to be expected.
So says, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Crown Point Carnival Committee, Shirley Cooke.
Speaking with Newsday via telephone last Friday, Cooke said all things are on stream for another exciting J'Ouvert.
“Plans are going good, everything is in order… plans are on the way, its going smoothly so far. Unless something unforeseen but so far we are on par.”
Deadline for registration closed on January 15 and Cooke believes the five weeks would give the committee more time to finalise all the other intricacies.
“It gives us time to plan a lot of things that we need to do,” she said adding that the route this year remains the same, going from Milford Court down to the Heritage Park and back to the starting point.
“We have met with the police in the area and discussed the plans. We are going to be doing a walkthrough on the strip to identify the critical areas that are a challenge to us and how we could better mitigate against those.”
J'Ouvert revelry starts at 4 am and ends at 10 am. She said there are three judging points at Milford Court, Colosseum and at the Heritage Park.
Committee chairman Martha Archer said nine bands have registered for the event, which is now in its fifth year.
“We have nine (bands) committed. It would be a difference of five bands from last year. We would have had 14 last year. Of the nine, five are large bands and a large band is any band 100 (members) and up and a small band is 25 to 99. So, we have five large, four small,” she said.
Archer said she has been in contact with the bands so far ensuring their compliance with all requirements.
“The last directive they would have had from us is to forward their requests to the police for access to the route and so on. We are not intimately involved in their preparations but in terms of our preparations… we have been working on those things, judges have been sorted out, the marshals have been sorted out, so we are ready.”
Questioned on funding for the event, Archer said although the committee is not part of the Carnival interest groups that the Tobago House of Assembly provides funding for, they did receive a grant this year. However, she declined to say how much they received.
“We are very transparent; we apply to corporate Trinidad and Tobago. Many of them do not respond, or if they respond it’s not positive. Penny Savers has been a strong supporter of us and recently came on board because of our method of operation, (also) the National Lotteries Control Board.
“But, we have a structure, we have a bank account, we have officers and we get a grant from the THA. The funding we get from the THA, most of it is administered by the THA, they pay our prizes. We send them the winners and whatever, they do the cheques. They pay our judges… so they pay as we provide the information and at the end of the period, we sent a report and we would indicate the challenges we had, what we recommend and we would have had a review ourselves on the whole issue and how we can improve,” she said.