|taking the lead: Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism Winston "Gypsy" Peters|
led by example as he paraded in front of the traditional characters.
A production of the National Carnival Commission, the event was billed as Trinidad and Tobago The Home of Carnival…Back in D Savannah.
It featured a parade of traditional Carnival characters by various regional Carnival committees which showcased “real” Carnival costumes such as the Bookman, Pierrot Grenade, Indians, Fancy Sailors, Dame Lorraine, Baby Doll. Jab Jab, Stick Fighters, Gorillas, Blue Devils, Bats, Midnight Robbers, Surri and Plymouth Warriors.
There was also a parade which featured children and adult mas accompanied by DJs as well as steelband music.
Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism Winston “Gypsy” Peters led the parade of traditional characters before the official launch.
NCC Chairman Kenny De Silva welcomed the spectators and masqueraders before Minister Winston “Gypsy” Peters addressed the savannah audience which included Minister of National Security Brigadier John Sandy, Chaguanas Mayor Orlando Nagesar and Caricom Ambassador Makandal Dagga.
Prime Minister Kamala Persad-Bissessar entered the savannah during Gypsy’s speech and was immediately called upon to say something to the audience.
The PM welcomed all and challenged the NCC commissioners to make Carnival 2011 the best ever before both she and Gypsy declared Carnival 2011 “opened”.
After this everything turned “ole mas” as people gathered in front the stage did not move for the parade to continue.
Trinidad All Stars tried its best to pull the crow in front the stage with them but was unsuccessful. What followed was a quick passing of costumed individuals. Down the track, behind All Stars, Laventille Rhythm Section had worked those fortunate enough to be on spot to hear them at the precise moment, into a frenzy with some drum cuts that were really special.
On stage the Midnight Robber “ramjayed” as Dil E Nadan prepared to perform. Lead singers Raymond Ramnarine and Derrick Seales had the crowd going with their rendition of several of Machel Montano’s hit songs and their own hits.
Calypso followed with the recently crowned Best Village Queen/second place Junior Calypso Monarch Victoria Cooper, and the reigning Calypso Monarch and Calypso Monarch Queen Kurt Allen and Kizzi Ruiz respectively.
Ruiz hit the spot with "Class Language" and Allen impressed his audience with two very compelling songs in the social commentary category “Where are they Now” and “Give Them a Chance”.
Rikki Jai followed and had the crowd singing along with "Barman (give me a Guinness and puncheon)" and he promised that he had another special potion coming for next season, but it was six-time Soca Monarch Superblue who stole the hearts of the audience as he rolled off “Soca Baptist”, “Ethel” and “To Love Sombody”. The audience could not get enough of him and called him back. He then performed “Get Something and Wave” to the delight of the audience.
Roy Cape All Stars should be commended for the superb musical backing of these artistes. The show continued to climb to a peak with Black Stalin as he performed “Come With It” in which he had the audience singing more than he did, he continued with “Black Man Feeling to Party”.
Shadow created quite a stir as he came on stage with “Feeling The Feeling”. The experience of Roy Cape All Stars cannot be understated as the music supplied was immaculate with clean and clear horn lines.