Emancipation parade back on after 2-year hiatus

File Photo
File Photo

The Kambule Street Procession, often called the Emancipation Street Parade, is back on after two years.

The Emancipation Support Committee of TT (ESCTT) confirmed this on Thursday as well as posted on its Facebook page for community groups to register for the event.

ESCTT’s director Zakiya Uzoma-Wadada said the registration process is nothing new as it was done to get an idea of the number of community groups participating in the event.

This year’s procession will begin at 4 am with a ritual to ancestors at Massy Trinidad All Stars panyard, Duke Street, Port of Spain.

There will then be an early morning procession to the Yoruba Village Square, East Dry River, Port of Spain, where rituals will also be done there.

It will then move to the Treasury Building, Independence Square.

At 8 am, the formal opening will take place with speeches from dignitaries. The Prime Minister has been invited and the committee is waiting on a response. Dr Rowley and all of TT's Prime Ministers are usually invited to the event and usually attends.

The street procession will begin at 9 am and head to the Queen’s Park Savannah where there will be performances during the day.

Although virtual activities were held over the two years, this is the first year the committee will host events as it once did before the pandemic.

Uzoma-Wadada said the registration process, in no way, indicates that there would be a limit on the number of people allowed to participate in it.

“We have always registered groups for the procession. But more community groups, cultural groups and so on because one of the parts of the process of facilitating their participation was trying to help them with transportation.

“In some cases, we would have given them funds, if we had enough, so that they could get fabrics and so for their community and so on. This year, unfortunately, we cannot do the transportation or even the fabric and so on because the resources just are not there,” she said.

She said because the event has not been held for two years as well, the committee was also reaching out to any new group interested in participating.

The committee still plans to advise people to wear masks and sanitise as it is aware that the pandemic is far from over.

People will no longer be mandated to wear masks from July 17.

“It is difficult to control numbers for the street procession. Whereas we are able to manage the community groups, a lot of individuals come out on Emancipation Day and you don’t want to be telling people on that day you cannot join the procession.

“What we have to do is ask people to take that personal responsibility,” she said.

She added that the committee will place these advisories on its social pages.

The Emancipation Village is also back. The village will be open from July29-August1. At the village people can purchase goods and services from local entrepreneurs as well as be entertained by the committee’s evening events.

At the village, there will be sanitisation stations and the entrepreneurs will be asked to ensure people sanitise their hands before entering the booths.

While some people might still have concerns about coming out, there was a “thirst and longing” for the event, Uzoma-Wadada said.

“What happens on Emancipation Day and the celebration of Emancipation is very special to large number of people in our society and I know that they are anxious,” she said.

Uzoma-Wadada said the market is going to be quite large this year as a number of entrepreneurs were anxious to sell their goods and services.

On the villages’ opening night, there will be a shikamoo (an event honouring the elders in TT’s calypso fraternity) for calypsonian David Rudder.

Some of the calypsonians honoured before were the late Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes-Millington and Emrold “Brother Valentino” Anthony Phillip.

The July 30 concert will pay tribute to the late Lutalo “Brother Resistance” Masimba and members of the rapso fraternity will perform his songs.

Its Unity Concert will be held on the Sunday. The concert highlights TT’s local reggae fraternity.

“At this one, we normally give an award to one of the reggae artistes and this year we will be giving it for the first time to a female reggae artiste,” she said.

She did not give to further details as to whom, saying the committee wanted to surprise the public.

The village is free and open to the public from 10.30 am to 3 pm over the period.

After 3 pm, people will be asked to make a contribution of $30 to the evening events.


"Emancipation parade back on after 2-year hiatus"

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