The kickoff of the Carnival Season 2014
Early indications are that carnival 2014 will be the biggest ever; so far seventeen bands have registered for the hugely popular event which attracts thousands of spectators along the carnival route in Belize City. This year, competition also promises to be even fiercer because a band from neighboring Chetumal has registered to enter the event. Karen Vernon of the Carnival Commission launched the calendar today. Duane Moody has a report.
Duane Moody, Reporting
Preparations for carnival are already underway, but on Saturday, the official kickoff of the carnival season 2014 will be held at the ITVET Compound. The event, which starts at ten p.m., will feature Trinidad’s Soca Queen, Destra performing alongside Belize’s best and upcoming soca artists. The event is being held in collaboration with the Carnival Commission and Flavaz Entertainment.
Andazi, PR Director, Flavaz Entertainment
“We do soca madness every year and it just keeps growing and growing and people are getting so excited. So we are sitting and we are saying we want people to get more involved with Carnival…what else can we do? And we said there is an official launch in June for the carnival season that people don’t really know about. So we came and we spoke to Karen and we spoke to Belize National Carnival Commission and said let’s make this huge this year. Let’s get the biggest soca queen, put her together with our Belizean soca queen and let’s just have a grand opening for the carnival season. So we are really excited about that. We are doing something that hasn’t really been done yet for a concert. We are having an all inclusive section. So we are having two sections for all inclusive. We have general all inclusive where you will be able to drink for free all night at sixty-five dollars. And then you have the VIP all inclusive, which is one [hundred] and twenty-five dollars. You have the regular VIP treatment. You are at the front of the stage, you have secured parking and you are drinking all night long for free including top shelf liquor. And if you can’t afford the VIP or the general admission all inclusive, we still have a general admission, thirty-five dollars where you can come in and have fun and buy your drinks and just enjoy the show.”
The soca concert will also feature the launch of a new soca album by Belize’s Carnival Queen, Ernestine Carballo. Carballo last album was released in 2011 and after over a year of writing and being in the studio, she is ready for the launch of Soca Party 2014.
Ernestine Carballo, Artist
“The album is going to be huge, huge, huge, huge. The opening of the soca season, June twenty-eight this Saturday alongside the biggest Trinidadian Soca Queen, Destra. And I have TR Shine on the album as well, so he will be doing his thing and mashing it up on stage with me. And I have Wilson Grinage on it as well so you have to look out for that as well. And you have Blass Lady and of course the carnival commission…all the masqueraders from every carnival band. I know unu di wait and can’t take unu self no more. It is all soca music; from groovy soca to straight up road march songs. And I also have a tenth day song along with the Hip Hooray on this album. So I just want unu look out for it. Kendoyll Simpson is the producer of the entire album.”
A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the carnival commission to assist carnival bands. The calendar is set and there will be a record total of seventeen carnival bands that have signed up to participate in the 2014 Carnival Road March.
Karen Vernon, Carnival Commission
“So far, we’ve been meeting with the bands. The carnival band association leader has been meeting with the bands and it looks like we have seventeen bands lined up this year for carnival—eleven senior bands and six junior bands. So that speaks for itself; it is going to be bigger and better. Of course carnival is hype, carnival is color, carnival is action; it is the spirit in the streets and you get that feel and you just want to get out there and move and party. So we are looking forward to that. The bands have already started their fundraising; we’ve had events so far and we are asking people to support the bands, come out and support the bands. I am asking people to come out and join carnival; I think it is one of the biggest spectator events in Belize. So you come on out, come be a part of the carnival, get a costume, join your favorite band, get in contact with a band and come out and put on a costume instead of standing on the sidelines and just watching.”
Duane Moody for News Five.