Though scheduled to commence at 2:00pm, it was not until two and a half hours after, that the small parade of mainly folklore participants, made its way to the downtown venue selected to host the official part of the program.
However those who joined carnival officials to usher in the new season of fun and frolic, mixed with calypso and pageantry, did their very best to project a positive image and to deliver an entertaining performance, as the Bull, Masquerades, Clowns and Iron Band moved through Victoria Road, Cayon Street, West Square Street, Fort Street, Church Street, the Bay Road and finally ending at Bank Street. They were all entertained by the dynamic Sound System of popular DJ Ronnie Rascal.
Later, speeches were delivered by senior carnival officials and representatives from the Ministry of Culture.
The launch event however, will be remembered more for what was absent than what unfolded on Saturday.
Many onlookers expressed disappointment and concern that there were no carnival queen pageant contestants present for the launch, as has become the norm over the years. Carnival supporters wondered why the program did not include the introduction of the young ladies who would be competing in the upcoming Miss National Carnival Queen Pageant. It is understood however that the final selection is still work in progress.
In addition, the reigning Carnival Queen was not present on parade, nor was any of the contestants expected to compete in the local Talented Teen Contest. Also absent was the reigning Calypso Monarch, King Konris, who is said to be residing overseas.
However, the 2012 Miss Culture as well as the 2012 Miss Caribbean Culture both joined the parade along with junior calypso winners and the winner of the Miss Caribbean Talented Teen Pageant and the reigning Miss Talented Teen.
Many in public have been expressing their concerns over the late start of the planning and promotion of the carnival. It was since the first quarter of this year that Miss Shannon Hawley resigned as Chairperson, but it was not until a few weeks ago that a new Chairman was announced along with the new Executive Committee. This, some insiders claim, greatly affected the planning exercise and it was obvious on Saturday, just how much of a negative impact it has been on the launch.
As one onlooker remarked, “This launch just does not have the same sting as the one two years ago when Monarch was Chairman”.
Also launched on Saturday night was the season of calypso tents with the first being hosted at the 17 Degrees entertainment centre on Victoria Road, in Basseterre. A follow up tent is scheduled for Sunday evening at Sprat Net, in Old Road.
However, with the official launch out of the way, many are investing hope and confidence in the new Chairman, Mr. Sylvester Anthony, to pull his team together to complete all arrangements for the delivery of another successful carnival.