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Trinidad and Tobago: Slow Start to J’ouvert Celebrations in Port-of-Spain

It was a slow morning at the downtown Carnival judging point at South Quay, Port-of-Spain, yesterday morning as few J’ouvert bands graced the stage.

In fact, three hours into the Parade of the J’ouvert Bands, which began at about 6 a.m., only 11 bands crossed the stage, including Two Mother’s Promotions with “From Cocorite to Hawaii with Mudd,” Trotters Football International with “Rum-Knee for Pre-c-dent,” HWMC and Associates with “Trini FoRum,” as well as several steelpan sides, including BP Renegades and Harlem Syncopators.

J’ouvert in St James and around the Hasely Crawford Stadium appeared to begin late yesterday morning, causing a traffic nightmare in West Port-of-Spain, especially on the foreshore, where some were stuck in traffic for over two hours. The usual police road block along the Beetham Highway also caused a traffic pileup from as early as 3 am.

Taking a walk along South Quay between bands, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mervyn Richardson said that according to reports from the Port-of-Spain, San Fernando, Central, Eastern, and Tobago divisions, all was quiet.

Richardson told reporters that over 1,100 police officers were patrolling Port-of-Spain, the Coast Guard was policing the seas and helicopters carried out surveillance from the air. He said police officers caught some persons at road blocks, and the exercise would continue for the duration of Carnival.

“We have seized things, but they are not entering the city because of the road block. We are taking them at the point of entry. But other that than, it has been quiet,” said Richardson.

He thanked the public for their continued support. He also advised residents not to wear excessive gold jewelry, asked parents to keep a watchful eye on their children, and drivers to drive with caution — don’t drink and drive and obey the law.

Also at South Quay was Assistant Commissioner of Police Raymond Craig, who said he had no reports of major security incidents at any of the police divisions. “We have structures and systems in place to ensure that we have a safe and secure Carnival,” he said. In addition, Craig asked masqueraders to cooperate with the security forces.

Source: Newsday



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