For the second consecutive year, the carnival costume parade will be staged on Carnival Tuesday, preceded by the parade of t-shirt bands on Carnival Monday.
Chairman of the Carnival Development Committee (CDC) Alwyn Bully said the decision follows a survey among stakeholders and concerns that costume bands are not as prevalent during Dominica’s carnival season as they were in the past.
“As you know we’ve been very concerned about the development of costume bands in Dominica. We have no shortage of t-shirt bands, and that’s all well and good. It’s good for our corporate citizens and corporate entities because of promoting their work… At the same time, we’d really like to see the creative aspect of carnival in Dominica developed to a large extent,” he explained.
Consequently, on Carnival Monday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. the bands will come out to perform on their trucks. From 10:30 a.m to 2 p.m. there will be a parade of traditional costumes followed by the t-shirt bands. In the evening, at about 7 p.m., bands with battery operated lights, fluorescent necklaces, flashing lights and flashing swords are expected on Roseau streets.
The Carnival Tuesday costume parade will begin at 10 a.m. with the showcase of the 2010 carnival queen contestants, the new Miss Dominica, the new calypso king, costume bands and traditional costumes.
According to Bully, costumes were more creative in carnivals of the past.
“…Persons who have been promoting the costume bands have been concerned about the fact that following up on J’ouvert, which itself has become a larger event than it was in the past, it is difficult to get the revelers, the masqueraders who are in costume to be back on the street even by mid day,” he said.
He also noted that in previous years J’ouvert began at 4 a.m. and was over by 7:30 a.m. However, in Dominica and other Caribbean islands J’ouvert has turned into a much bigger event. He recalled that in J’ouvert events of the past, music trucks with bouyon bands or hi-fi systems would have been restricted from playing on the road in order to encourage the traditional aspect of carnival, but that has also changed over the years.
“The use of Tuesday for the parade again is experimental. We want to see if it really does encourage a better presentation of the costume bands, that people are more rested and they come out more fully, that they can start more
on time …,” he said.
“Last year we felt it worked to a certain extent, but we felt there was more that could have been put into it and greater effort was put by the revelers themselves to get there on time …seeing that they are rested on the Tuesday. All these things we want to look at to make a final decision if we stick with it or go back to the main parade on the Monday. So we asking the general public to bear with us as we try to find the best way to better present our carnival … the best way to presenting a creative carnival as well,” he explained.
Bully remarked that there is always room for change. He said he is hopeful that increased public participation will make carnival a successful event.
He also noted that an end time for carnival had not yet been announced by the police.