Dominica’s 2011 carnival programme is being officially launched today, Saturday, February 12 at 3 p.m. with a massive street parade from Victoria Street in Roseau.
The streets of the capital have various carnival forms moving along the streets to the music of lapo kabwit, steel band and sound systems.
Events Director, Dominica Festival Committee, Natalie Clarke-Meade, said the parade will highlight a range of advertising floats, costume bands, traditional masquerade groups and the colour and splendour of Dominica’s carnival.
“We were overwhelmed this year with the amount of bands, sensays, corporate business people who wanted to have floats; instead of having one they want to have two. They are also creating carnival costumes to go with their floats.
“We are even going to have t-shirt mass in the opening parade this year. So, along with the traditional ‘Ol Mas’ which makes Mas Domnik, the real mas unique, we will have these other elements contending on the road. Consequently, we are asking and inviting everyone in the general public to come out and be safe; come online with us on the road from 3 p.m.,” Clarke-Meade said.
Assistant Superintendent of Police, Yvonne Alexander, who is also the officer in charge of the Traffic and Tourism Department of the Dominica Police Force, is alerting the public of diversions into the city of Roseau.
She explained: “The formal opening ceremony of carnival takes place on Saturday, the 12th of February, 2011. It is expected to commence in the vicinity of Victoria Street between the House of Assembly building and the Fort Young Hotel, where the bands will gather and revellers, of course, and other individuals who will be taking part in that parade. They are expected to set off at 3 p.m., so we expect people will begin gathering by about 2 p.m. Obviously, traffic will be diverted out of that area, that part of Victoria Street by about 1:30 p.m. on that day. For motorists who are commuting from the southern part of the island into Roseau, at some stage there will be a diversion sign up to the DBS area on Victoria Street diverting traffic onto High Street.”
Alexander explains the route of the parade.
“The route for that parade goes down from Victoria Street onto the Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard. From the Boulevard, the parade is expected to travel along King George V Street then unto Great George Street and out onto the West Bridge to St. Johnson’s Avenue, then on to Elliot Avenue, Goodwill Road to the Carnival City venue, which is the Pottersville Savannah. It is expected that it will take anywhere between two to three hours for that parade to get to the final destination,” she said.
Alexander said in addition to the carnival parade, a cruise ship is expected to dock at the Roseau cruise ship berth which is expected to increase vehicular congestion.
The Dominica Police Force is appealing to the public to assist them on Saturday between the hours of two and five p.m.
For tour buses, Alexander said during the time the parade is expected to traverse along the Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard, the traffic department will reduce the number of buses there.
“We expect that around that time, some buses will obviously be out on tours and we will do the best we can, that is, the Tourism and Traffic Department, to reduce the number of buses that are actually on the Bayfront about the time the parade is expected to commute just through that short area of the Bayfront. It is really from the Pebbles’ Park area down to the Boulevard and then on to King George V Street.
“It is anticipated that that will not take very long. Within the hour, all of the bands should have passed through that area. So, it is really just managing the situation for the short period that the bands and groups are expected to pass through that area,” she noted.
The parade is expected to culminate at the Pottersville savannah, ‘Carnival City.’
Clarke-Meade said the public can expect an action-packed show.
“The entrance fee to Carnival City, this year, will be as last year’s, five dollars (EC). We have entertainment in the city this year. So, along with the speeches, we will have an entertainment line-up. We, basically, want to give the story of ‘Mas Domnik’, which Mr. Bully says is 200 years old,” Clarke-Meade said.
A comprehensive write up including video and pictures on last year’s opening can be found at http://www.gis.dominica.gov.dm/features/carnivalopen2010.php
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