A wet start to Spice Mas 2K13 did not dampen the spirit of revelers and spectators as hundreds flocked the Carenage last Saturday for the official start to the island’s biggest festival.
“Sweet Steel pan Music; The Sound and Rhythm of Spice Mas” was the theme under which the Spice Mas Corporation (SMC) rolled out the official start of Carnival.
It was Jab Jab all over the Carenage, the traditional Short Knees, Vekou, Moko Jumbies, fancy mas, and at least one Wild Indian paraded the streets giving locals and visitors alike a taste of what’s to come.
Steel pan music reverberated the Carenage as reigning Bomb Tune winners, Coyaba New Dimensions sent sweet steel music across to the crowd giving them a little insight into what to expect August 10, Panorama night.
A floating badge, which was used by the organisers as a stage for the music bands, speakers, and entertainers, was one of the creative features of SMC Spice Mas launch this year.
The popular and humourous Lindon “Fatman” George chaired the event.
Despite the heavy downpour after Carnival was officially launched, the reigning Junior Calypso Monarch, Nathan Johnson, the son of Calypsonian Raphael “Croquetta” Johnson entertained the crowd with his winning selection, “Face Book”.
When asked about his preparation to defend his crown on August 03 (Children Carnival Frolic), the young artiste told Fatman George that he was still looking for the right song that can help him to defend the crown.
The presence of one of the country’s foremost Cultural Ambassadors, Edison “Ajamu” Mitchell was another unique attraction for the launch of this year’s Spice Mas.
“Kingman” as he is affectionately known is being recognized this year at the major carnival shows as he celebrates his 50th birthday and 30 years in show business.
Ajamu has won the coveted carnival crown seven times – the same as Scholar.
In speaking at the launch, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Alexandra Otway-Noel took the opportunity to encourage the private sector to partner with individual mas bands for a more sustainable, bigger and better product.
She complemented and encouraged Mas Bands throughout the country to display creativity.
“I’m pleased with what I’ve seen so far”, she said.
Minister Otway-Noel is also encouraging parents whose children play the steel pan to encourage them by attending those events in which the kids are participating.
She referred to the Steel pan, as one of the products on the island that attracts young people and this should be encouraged.
As the countdown for Spice Mas 2K13 continues, stakeholders are being encouraged to work together in the interest of the festival and Grenadians are being urged to participate actively in Carnival rather than play spectator-mas.
The Culture Minister assured Carnival stakeholders that 50% of subventions would be distributed this week.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Senator Brenda Hood declared the festival open in the absence of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell who was out of State.