A Carnival Tuesday that wasn’t

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GROWL: A red devil growls at Newsday Chief Photographer Jeff Mayers at KFC’s Taste of Carnival promotion held at the front of the fastfood outlet’s Independence Square, Port of Spain branch. –

It had been officially cancelled, but it was hard to tell, from the mix of live and virtual shows that began as what would have been Carnival drew closer. Carnival 2021 was scheduled for February 15 and 16.

Trini Carnival is incomplete with traditional mas which itself is incomplete without the Apache Indian character who prowled Independence Square in Port of Spain. PHOTO BY JEFF MAYERS –

New music releases also demonstrated that even the covid19 pandemic could do to completely stop Carnival.

It might not have been an official Carnival but there was still a Carnival 2021, albeit in a muted form.

And on what would have been Carnival Tuesday, people took to wearing parts of their Carnival costumes to their workplaces.

Terrence La Caille in his 2020 K2K Carnival costume on the Brian Lara Promenade. – Jeff K. Mayers

Nerissa Blackman and some of her friends were among them. Blackman works at the Ministry of Education, Port of Spain. Her friend Tricia Cruickshank works at Servus Ltd, Elizabeth Mollick at Flow and Kevon Charles (KC Nuvision) works at My Carnival Hot Spot Blog as a costume designer.

She said she and her friends did this because, “we all decided that we need to show that Carnival lives on, in our hearts spirit and soul.”

Franklyn Deke Mayhew, centre, and Phillip Omiss, right, both members of the Trinidad All Stars pan orchestra play their instruments during a lime at the band’s panyard on Duke Street and Neville Jules Junction. PHOTO BY AYANNA KINSALE –

Blackman said despite all that happened over the past year, people still find happiness in the Carnival spirit; the culture; the people; the music and the joy it brings.

Textile company Jimmy Aboud, in collaboration with large band Showtime, kept the Carnival spirit going with people in costume dancing to soca in front of the store.

These two took to the savannah grass near the paddock exit roadway at the Queen’s Park Savannah. – ROGER JACOB

The Carnival spirit was so compelling that people stopped to take photos and some even chipped along with the masqueraders.

One of the band’s directors, Kendall Lumpress, said, “Carnival is in all of us as Trinbagonians. This is our culture. Carnival is we. No matter what may come our way we will always rise through the storm. Every occasion.”

There was action in San Fernando also as part of Lord Street was renamed in honour of calypso icon Leroy “Black Stalin” Calliste. – Lincoln Holder

He said many people were excited to see the presentation and were blowing their car horns.

Lumpress said he hoped after the covid19 vaccines are administered and restrictions are eased further, TT might be able to have some kind of celebration.

PROMENADE DAME: Annette Griffith portrayed a Dame Lorraine on Tuesday along the Brian Lara Promenade. PHOTO BY JEFF MAYERS

At KFC Independence Square, Port of Spain Carnival characters and a DJ gave patrons its Taste of Carnival.

Some people stood by the door and looked on as the traditional characters like the jab jab and the dame lorraine danced to the many Carnival hits being played.

Workers of Jimmy Aboud on Henry Street, Port of Spain, were dressed in Carnival costumes and were on the pavement in front the store spreading some joy on Tuesday. – Ayanna Kinsale

Terrence La Caille walked across Brian Lara Promenade in a past K2K Alliance and Partners costume. K2K was last year’s medium band of the year.

La Caille wore his costume to work because, “as a Carnival baby, Carnival lover and Carnival designer, I said, ‘Hey, it is part of the culture and why not continue doing it?’”

He said it was clothing, and K2K’s costume was fashion, so why not wear it as everyday wear.

La Caille said it was good to see people still embracing the culture and going to work with their costumes on.

This Dame Lorraine walks past a man on the Brian Lara Promenade in Port of Spain on Tuesday. – Jeff Mayers

On its website, Pan Trinbago also encouraged people to wear their pan T-shirts to work and post a picture on social media.

The Carnival spirit thrived and even grew through one of the toughest times in recent history.

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