BY CAMILLE HUNTE
The Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross yesterday expressed gratitude to several sponsors for continuing to support the annual Children’s Carnival despite economic challenges.
The event, which took place at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain, saw 182 children and 35 bands displaying their costumes and energetic dance moves as they competed for prizes.
But the event, now in its 62nd year, almost didn’t happen as several sponsors pulled out.
Red Cross communications director Rae Smith said securing sponsorship for the event this year was difficult as fewer organisations were willing to come on board.
Despite this, he said there were some loyal sponsors that continue to show support, ensuring that the event remains a mainstay in T& T Carnival.
Smith praised the level of creativity he said was evident in the costumes of the young masqueraders this year, adding that there has been greater creativity than in recent years.
Some costumes were not just about colour and splendour but were used as an opportunity to raise awareness of environmental issues, oil spills and wildlife conservation.
The event got off to a late start and the sun was out in full force, but the scorching heat did nothing to dampen the spirits of the young revellers.
They crossed the stage in various categories from ‘babes in arms’ to 13-16 age groups. Smith said the participation and crowd turnout was an improvement from last year.
He noted that 15 students from the Pacific Lutheran University in the United States were in Trinidad on an exchange programme and had volunteered to assist with the smooth
running of the day’s activities.
Smith also noted that security and safety arrangements had been improved from last year, to prevent any ‘untoward incidents’ and unauthorised people from accessing the stage area.
Last year, activist Verna St Rose Greaves stormed the stage, dressed as a bride, in protest of child marriage.
By 2 p.m., winners in three categories had been announced as follows: Zendaya Mills in the babes in arms age group with her portrayal ‘Princess of Yoruba’.
Bryell Mills in the girls 3-5 age group with her portrayal ‘Mama D’ Glo’.
Zion Alleyne in the boys 3-5 age group with his portrayal ‘Joki One’.