Chairman of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) Winston “Gypsy” Peters expects more visitors for Carnival 2024 as the organisation has been promoting the event abroad.
“I think we’ll have more people in our Carnival because we did some foreign intervention in terms of us going to America and a couple of (other) places to ensure we did promote our Carnival.”
Speaking to members of the media at the launch of Carnival 2024 at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday, Peters said TT had to compete with the other TT-styled carnivals around the world.
He said TT gave the world this type of carnival so TT Carnival would continue to be, as the slogan said, the Mother of All Carnivals.
He added there was no where else people could see the traditional Carnival characters which were indigenous to TT and encouraged the population to help, in whatever way they could, to make it a better Carnival on February 12 and 13, 2024.
Peters said people should expect “bumper to bumper events,” an increased number of sponsors, and improvements in prize money for competitions. He did not elaborate.
“They (sponsors) are seeing the value again in our Carnival. They are seeing our Carnival on the up-and-up. We have the best Carnival in the world you know."
The launch started with a procession of masqueraders along “the track.” Although an announcement encouraged people to “look to the east” where a performance of masqueraders was taking place, very few spectators actually saw it as it could not be easily viewed from their seats.
On entering the Grand Stand from the track, the procession, made up of masqueraders including king and queen costumes and traditional mas characters such as the burrokeet, dame lorraine, moko jumbie, fancy indian, and pierrot grenade, and led by Peters waving the TT national flag, made its way backstage.
About 30 minutes later the MCs announced the start of the launch and, from backstage, Courts Sound Specialists of Lavantille began playing a medley of calypso, soca and contemporary music to the enjoyment of the small crowd in the stand.
At one point, members of the Massy Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra took to the stage where their instruments were set up for a performance. However, Sound Specialists kept playing and eventually the members left the stage.
Next, the Tornadoes Steel Orchestra began playing as the masqueraders and some patrons milled around backstage and recorded the performance.
In passing, some members of the audience asked this reporter when the launch was expected to officially begin as there was no one on stage.
However, the stage performances began around 6.30 pm with Ronnie McIntosh.
Also expected to perform were soca stars Nadia Batson, Skinny Fabulous, Farmer Nappy, Allison Hinds, Destra, Lyrikal, and more.