Over 200 children showcased their energy, flair and love for mas in a display of creativity at the semifinal round of the Junior Parade of the Bands on Sunday in Port of Spain.
In a sea of colour, masqueraders as young as ten months paraded before a panel of judges at Adam Smith Square in Woodbrook.
Ten-month-old Khristen Abdsol-Ehiwe, in her presentation, Elements of Nature, held a flower as she sat in a pram while a woman pushed. Her portrayal was The Princess of the Elements of Nature.
She was among 28 girls in the individual girls (ages one to five years) category.
In the six-ten age group, there were 42 competitors.
The event, which started around 10.30 am, was hosted by the National Carnival Commission (NCC) in collaboration with the Tourism, Culture and Arts Ministry and the TT Carnival Bands Association.
Competitors are vying for a spot in the finals set for February 10 at the Grand Stand in the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Their portrayals and presentations included original, traditional, historical, creative, creative tropical, fancy sailor, fancy Indian fantasy and African.
Junior boys individuals (ages one to five) had 16 entrants, including Achilles Barkarr with his portrayal of Roll up the Tassa and Leshawn La Fortune with Pride of Africa from his presentation titled Somewhere in Africa.
Under the blazing sun and watchful eyes of the police who blocked off the street to vehicular traffic, supporters lined the street and cheered on as the youngsters danced and showed off their costumes before the judges.
The six-ten age group (boy individual) had 27 entrants, including King Noel with his portrayal titled Coconut Vendor from the presentation We from Sando, and Triston Serrette, dressed as a blue devil with his portrayal of Blue Come To Town.
The 11-17 (boy individual) group had 17 contestants, including Nah’zye John with Tribe of Mexico from his presentation, Look! Everybody come for Carnival. Spectators had to look twice when Jude Charleau, also from this category, portrayed Dame Judith as he wore a dress with African patterns. His presentation was titled When the Powers Say Dance, Dance.
The junior king (school) category saw 11 entrants, including Kanye Simmons with No Place Like Home and fancy sailor Jeremiah Hunt with In De Engine Room, a tribute to Powergen Port of Spain.
The junior king (non-school) category had 15 entrants, including Zion Alleyne with his portrayal titled D Return of Callaloo from the presentation Splash, Splatter, Spill.
It also included Antonio Rampersad with his portrayal Bazooee, the spirit of Sando carnival.
Mical "Mical Teja" Williams's hit DNA was a favourite. The song played multiple times as masqueraders as well as spectators danced and sang along. On January 31, Teja copped the National Action Cultural Committee’s Young King title. On Saturday, he wowed the judges at Skinner Park, San Fernando, at Calypso Fiesta, the semifinal round of the Calypso Monarch competition and was selected as a finalist in the Big Yard.
Another favourite was Ian "Bunji Garlin" Alvarez's song Carnival Contract.
The junior Carnival Queen category (school) had nine competitors. These included Renell Oliver with her portrayal titled A Splash of Colour from Colours of the Rainbow, as well as Bryell Mills with her portrayal titled Queen of the Himba Tribe from the presentation Hello Africa.
The non-school (junior queen) had 32 entrants, including Shanaque Findley as Fantasy Goddess of Africa and Nairobe Marquis with Lady of the Caroni Swamp.
There were four couples. They were Elijah Garcia and Sanai Joseph with The African People, Nayeli David and Danuiel Mc Guire with Gems in D Treasure Chest, Sophia Gittens and Selena Gittens with Champagne Taste, Mauby Money and Daniel White and Elizabeth White with Better Belly Buss Dan Good Food Waste.
Up to press time on Sunday, the finalists' names had not been announced.