Carnival Heats Up
posted (August 28, 2008)

[Linked Image] The Carnival road march isn’t until September 6th but carnival fever is sweeping the city. Last night the senior bands grabbed the spotlight. There are 7 bands competing and three of them had mas camps last night. 7NEWS was in the middle of the action and Keith Swift has the story.

Natasha Miguel, Southside Masqueraders

“Trust me, you have to have a lot of energy for this thing yah.”

And last night there was no shortage of energy on Mayflower Street as Natasha Miguel and the Southside Masqueraders partied in the yard – and then they took it to the street and in fact, took over the street – like only how the Southside Masqueraders can.

[Linked Image] Suzette Marsden, Southside Masqueraders
“Very very excited, this is not my first year. I di dance from I was five.”

Keith Swift,
Will carnival be hype this year?

Suzette Marsden,

“Yes, especially when it comes to Southside Masqueraders because only we mek the carnival live every year. Southside Masqueraders all the way.”

Natasha Miguel,
“I feel very good, I feel excited. I’ve been dancing bout 4 years, 5 years now.”

Five years later - the Southside Masqueraders have gotten a makeover in the name of new leader Pauline Bradley. She says leadership is the only thing that has changed.

Pauline Bradley, Band leader – Southside Masqueraders

“This year our theme is old Belize. The reason why we’re doing old Belize is we want to take a lot of youths back to time when Belize was Belize. In school and when you were in primary school they didn’t tell you about how Belize got its name and that is one of our idea this year.”

Natasha Miguel,
“We wah hype this year and we definitely make sure we come in first this year.”

And hype took on new meaning on Pickstock Street – at the mas camp for Jam Jam. There it was more like madness.

Kimbolean Vernon, Jam Jam
“Excited, I can’t wait til the day. You know, any carnival group out there, bring it on carnival day because I got it for you.”

Keith Swift,
How long you’ve been dancing in carnival?

Kimbolean Vernon,
“From since I was like 7 years old.”

[Linked Image] Keith Swift,
What you like about carnival?

Kimbolean Vernon,
“The costumes, the colourful costumes, the dancing, the excitement – you just get to show yourself, be yourself.”

Annika Hill, Jam Jam
“I am poytraying Beatrice, Queen of the Wildness. So I want to tell the ladies them that I am representing them. We stay home we wash, we clean, we cook, we take care of pickney so let them put on their makeup, put on their dancing shoes, and come out let us party like there is no tomorrow."

Keith Swift,
You ready for carnival?

Annika Hill,
“Of course.”

This year will be Jam Jam’s second appearance.

Alma Gabourel, Band Leader – Jam Jam

“We wah try do a thing out there. Well this year our theme is the different stages of life; freedom, wildness, and depression and you are seeing the colors. The pink and white is for the wildness, the red white and blue is for the freedom and the black and purple is for the depression.”

And from a crowd of many on Pickstock Street to a group of few on Blue Marlin Boulevard at the mas camp for Belizean Legacy. It will be their debut.

[Linked Image] Jessel Lauriano, Bandleader – Belizean Legacy
“Belizean Legacy is a newly formed band. I decided to form this band because it has been a while since carnival has been up to what it was eight years ago and I think we as the youths can bring back carnival as it was eight years ago hence the reason the name Belizean Legacy came about because we want to continue the legacy that once was.

Our theme is legacies of Belize. We know every year when people do carnival they always do the Greek Gods or stuff from other places and Belizean Legacy is about Belize so we have decided that Belize has many mythical creatures like Tataduhende and that is what our theme is based on.”

And while the bands partied in the streets like carnival was tomorrow – it isn’t. That’s actually a good thing since the bands are on over drive preparing.

Jessel Lauriano,
“Well I have sleepless nights and stressful. I think sleepless nights and stressful is what describes it the best.”

Keith Swift,
Have the finances been easy to come by?

Jessel Lauriano,
“Actually I have like say four small sponsors, people that sponsor but with small donations but we’re thankful for them anyway.”

Pauline Bradley,
“We’re going very slow but I think we’ll finished by now and the 6th.”

Keith Swift,
What has delayed you guys?

Pauline Bradley,

“Funds, money. We haven’t done any fundraising. We have a lot of support, especially from our family and one thing I would like to, the two main companies I would like to big up are Simon Quan and Benny’s, they’ve been there for us big time.”

Alma Gabourel,
“Every night we have camp. We’re open all day actually and people, some of them come in to help.”

Keith Swift,
Why are you in it?

Alma Gabourel,
“For the love of it, you have to love carnival to do what you do for carnival.”

And that love was evident last night.

The fun continues tonight at mas camps for Erotic Mas Band, Mother Nature’s Creation, Eternity, and Black Pearl.

Live and let live