Monday, December 13, 2010

Taking back Carnival for 'ordinary' people

Minister Winston Peters

CARNIVAL is being taken away from the ordinary man and Minster of Arts and Multiculturalism Winston Peters wants to reverse this.
Peters was speaking yesterday during a press conference prior to a tour of the construction of the Grand Stand at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain.
Peters said the availability of the "ordinary man" like himself, to benefit from Carnival by selling items at the side of the road during the Parade of the Bands was being taken away and he would not allow it.
"These bands now advertising everything, drinks, premium drinks, premium toilets and leave out the other people from Carnival," Peters said, adding that the ordinary man could no longer "make a little money to mind his children" for a few weeks from what he sold during Carnival.
He said the North and Grand stands will be completed "way before Carnival".
Peters said Carnival must become a better product to promote the country and there were plans to make it bigger and better.
Peters said after Carnival next year, a competition will begin for local contractors to design a permanent structure to house Carnival.
He said the "Carnival Village" will be designed and built by locals and would be a tourist attraction with constant cultural activities taking place.
Next Carnival there will be the People's Band where anyone can join and as for security "the people are going to police themselves".
He added that the "unsanitary" "wee wee trucks" would be flushed out of Carnival 2011.
"I don't want it and we're not having it," Peters said.
As for the incorporation of steelband within mas Peters reiterated that Panorama had killed pan, and that steelbands should make themselves more viable.
Earlier in the day Derek Hamilton, project manager for the construction of the Grand Stand said the construction of the stand, which will house VIP and concession booths along with toilets for both general and VIP customers will be completed by the February 10 due date.
Though work has begun, a budget will not be ready for another two weeks for the construction, Peters said.
Hamilton added that the erection of the Grand Stand will begin on January 3, 2011 as "50 to 60 per cent" of the foundation work had already been done.

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