A scene from the opening parade of Carnival last year

A scene from the opening parade of Carnival last year

Product Promotions Manager of the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), Kathleen Cuffy-Jno Jules has said that the Carnival committee is still in discussions as it relates to live bands on the road for this year’s opening parade.

The opening parade for Carnival is expected to take place on Saturday, January 16.

Cuffy-Jno Jules said at a press conference on Wednesday that the committee hopes the bands come on board to provide entertainment on the road for free as a form of giving back to the community.

“As it relates to the live bands on the road for the road parade, that is still in discussion,” she said.“One of the reasons we have contracted live bands for the parade in the past was the fact of the after activity that we usually hold whether it’s at the Stadium or the Bayfront…this year we are not having any after party.”

She explained that the DDA and Dominica Festivals Committee normally receive a package from bands.

“In effect they have not yet been contacted for contract arrangement, but what we are hoping is that they would come on board to give back to the community in terms of coming free of charge and just being on the road to give their fans something,” Cuffy- Jno Jules stated.

Deputy Chairperson of the Carnival Road Parade Committee, Charlene White-Christian said that it would be “a good thing” if live bands are not a part of the 2016 Carnival opening parade.

“There will be no live bands on the road this year which is a good thing, we will only basically have over Hi-Fi…,” she said.“At present, we don’t have Triple Kay or WCK, or those. It may change you never know by Saturday, but as of now we only have Hi-Fi.”

According to her, in the past revellers forget the parade when live bands form part of it.

“What we have found in the past is with the live bands persons forget the parade, and especially when we place them in the parade,” she explained. “If we have them to accompany we have a lot of persons just coming into the parade because they want to jump behind the live bands and they sort of mess up the parade. They do not do it with the Hi-Fi, they only do it with the Triple Kay’s and the WCK’s and so forth. I think it is a good thing that they are not there so we avoid that interference in the parade this year.”

The parade is scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm.

Meantime, White-Christian said groups floats, gangs and bands, who are to participate in the parade, are asked to gather by 1:30 pm near DBS Radio and Peebles Park on Victoria Street.

“Pedestrians are asked to stay away from the parade like we do every year and allow the parades to flow,” she warned, adding that they should respect the martial and the runners who will be assisting with the parade.

“We do not want anyone to get hurt so we are asking you to please stay on the sidewalks and allow the vehicles to run through smoothly,” she said. “I want to emphasize as I did last year for the Bwa Bwas that no one cuts across the street or tries to take a photograph whilst the Bwa Bwa’s are on their stilts because two years ago we had an incident where someone fell and got seriously injured.”

She said those who wants to take photos should stay on the sidewalk.

She went on to say that this year there will be no throwing of items from the various floats.

“We are asking all pageant organizers to ensure that there are chaperones or persons accompanying the contestants alongside their floats, these persons will handover whatever tokens that they would like to give to the general public,” she stated. “We don’t want anyone getting hurt so no throwing of sweeties by the contestants…allow the contestants to smile and wave.”

White-Christian stated the parade looks “very promising” this year.

“We have about six advertising floats, we have six lapo kabwit bands, we have about five sensay groups, including the ‘Darkies’ from Good Hope, we have about four cheerleading groups, we have our ‘band mauvais’ from Colihaut, they are back and we are very grateful that they are taking part in the opening,” she remarked.

She stated further that the usual pageant groups will also be included in the parade.

Furthermore, she emphasized that only those registered at the DFC, especially the pageant groups will be allowed to parade on their floats.

“So we would like to encourage the community groups we would like to encourage the community groups to bring their contestants, it’s good for them and it adds to the feel of the Carnival,” she advised.

Persons who are interested are being advised to contact the DFC office no later than Friday (January 15) morning.

“If you are not registered we will not allow you to form part of the parade,” White – Christian warned.

She revealed that not many school bands and floats are participating in the parade.

“Because we know with Erika school started late and a lot of schools were not ready to prepare their floats and bands, so this year we are only having three primary school floats, St Mary’s Primary, Roseau Primary and Pioneer Preparatory,” she explained. “We are only having two Primary School bands, Convent Preparatory School and San Sauveur Primary school, one secondary school band, the Isaiah Thomas Secondary School and we will be having a float form the Dominica State College.”

She called on patrons to turn out in large numbers to support the event.