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From Point Fortin to Woodbrook

Friday, May 11, 2018

Fun in the nation’s cultural capital Tens of thousands of fun-seeking people from home and abroad descended on the Borough of Point Fortin last weekend for the J’Ouvert and Pan on the Move events. From as early as the preceding Thursday, the Borough was pulsating with music with a plethora of activity, including the crowning of a new Miss Borough of Point Fortin, Republic Bank’s Pan on de Parkway, the annual Liverpool fete and a bumper calypso show.

An amazing aspect of the Point Fortin Borough Day Festival is that several nationals forego visiting for carnival opting instead to come for the Point event.

In a demonstration of the vitality of Point Fortin’s community spirit, crowds of spectators flocked to the Techier Main Road on the evening of Thursday, for Republic Bank’s annual, Pan on de Parkway lime, which is hosted in conjunction with Point Fortin’s Borough Day Festival.

The event, which takes place outside the Republic Bank Point Fortin Branch, is intended to be an opportunity for the people of T&T to come together in support of the Point Fortin community and in appreciation of our national instrument.

Over the years, it has grown to attract supporters from not only T&T but from across the world as well, and is now a mainstay of Point Fortin’s Borough Day celebrations.

This year, Pan on de Parkway featured an impressive line up of performances from some of our country’s most beloved steel bands including: Republic Bank Exodus, Caribbean Airlines Skiffle, Pan Elders, NGC La Brea Nightingales and Silver Harps.

The patrons who travelled to the event from outside the Point Fortin area and from overseas were given a night of entertainment worth their commute as the bands performed as if the Techier Main Road was the Panorama stage itself. The spectators also proved to be a worthy audience with few being able to resist the urge to sway in time to the popular calypso and soca tunes performed by the bands.

Republic Bank hosts this event, each year, as part of their commitment to promoting and preserving our local culture and bank officials expressed pride to be a member of the Point Fortin community and being happy to participate in the continuing vitality of Point Fortin’s Borough Day celebrations.

On Saturday, the annual Pan on de Move parade saw many of the top steelbands in the land wend their way along the parade route including 2018 National Panorama (Large Band) champion bpTT Renegades, runners-up CAL Skiffle and Desperadoes, as well as Old Tech, Massy Trinidad All Stars, Phase II Pan Groove, Republic Bank Exodus, First Citizens Supernovas, Redemption Sound Setters and Silver Harps.

As if the pan was not enough on Saturday night, Prophet Benjamin held his Rasta Clusive that same night at Cheaters Beer Garden, located along Southern Main Road. Billed to perform at this conscious music event were Shaka Zulu, Determine & Norris Man, Isasha, Jamelody, Mr Royal, Trevon Stylez and of course Prophet Benjamin.

On Sunday, throngs of sea bathers went to Clifton Hill Beach for the usual Borough Day cool down.

At the end of it all, in last Monday’s T&T Guardian, Point Fortin Mayor Abdon Mason also boasted about the growth of the celebrations, saying it is now being referred to as a second Carnival.

Speaking to reporters at J’Ouvert celebrations, where hundreds of revellers from over 20 different bands paraded through the streets of the Borough, Mason said, “We are enjoying the J’Ouvert this year, where we welcome home back our diaspora from the wider population of Trinidad, North America and the rest of the world.

“This is the best time to meet with and greet people you have not seen in a long while.” Cro Cro sings for moms Four-time National Calypso Monarch Cro Cro will host his annual Mother’s Day Concert on Sunday, at Ambassador Hotel, Long Circular Road, St James, at 4 pm.

Tickets cost only $200 and Cro Cro will be celebrating all mothers with several love songs that you will be surprised to hear him sing and more. Also on the cast are reggae love song singer Wendell Mc Burnie, comedian Prince, who will also serve as show host and a special surprise guest artiste.

One lucky mother will receive a special prize on this day. 

The Hadco Group continues its efforts at creating shared value with the recently rebranded Hadco Phase II Pan Groove with the presentation of an All-inclusive affair—called Pan • Brass • Soca: Jam Down—on Saturday, May 19, at 7 pm.

Phase II’s iconic arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe is has promised and “all you can eat, all you can drink, you can’t bust the bar” event, at the steelband’s panyard, fondly called The Village, located on Hamilton Street, Woodbrook, from 8 pm.

Tickets cost just $600, gates open at 7 pm, and there will be secured parking and a shuttle service between parking areas at Fatima Grounds and Mucurapo East High School and the panyard.

The featured performers at this event are Phase II, featuring its founder and arranger, the legendary Len “Boogsie” Sharpe; trumpet ace Etienne Charles, headlining a stellar band featuring brass instrumentation; local pioneering rapso group 3Canal; and soca singer-songwriter and Grammy winner Angela Hunte.

Hadco co-CEO John Hadad reiterated at a media launch held last week Thursday that his company will once again be bringing its management expertise, acumen, and importantly, business contacts and relationships to bear on the steelband in the organisation of this concert.

Among the sponsors on May 19 are bmobile, The Beacon Insurance Co Ltd, Seaboard Marine, and many food and beverage brands, both from among Hadco’s portfolio and outside.

New Phase II manager Keron Valentine added that this event is one of many new initiatives—among them is the launch of a new Phase II Youth Band—that the band is implementing in partnership with its sponsor to secure continued success as it looks towards its 50th anniversary in four years’ time.

Hadad also noted that with the rolling out of the Live Music District pilot project by the State via MusicTT, the panyard could become a hub for live music throughout the year, not solely at Panorama.

The Pan • Brass • Soca: Jam Down style event is geared to be a regular feature on the post-Carnival live entertainment calendar, repeating the success both in fund-raising and entertainment value first showcased at the International Jazz Panyard Jam Session in 2016. The return of Charles and the addition of 3Canal and Hunte provides ample talent power to make this event a success. The real possibilities of music performance collaborations noted by the principals at the media launch promises to one for the books.

Tickets for the all-inclusive Pan • Brass • Soca: Jam Down are available at Peppercorns Mall locations at Ellerslie Plaza and West Mall; Lighthouse Ltd, San Fernando; and, at all Häagen-Dazs’ shops.


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