Parking My Jumbo – King of Carnival

It happens every year at the Queen’s Park Savannah but this time the venue is in a stadium on the outskirts of the Capital, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The parade of the Kings and Queens preliminaries we call it, and if you have the threshold to sit for five hours, forty odd costumes cross the stage following a path shaped like the figure eight and all vying for the King and Queen title 2007.

Mas designers go all out to nudge a few extra points from judges by mounting pyrotechnics to their costumes. At the edge of the stage you may see a maspiece creeping up surrounded by supporters. There is a fight check and the first sign is triggered by some sort of illumination beneath the costume. Popular are lights with a blue or red florescent glow.

The audience knows very well what comes next. Music, a special score to give the King that edge and dramatic theatrical entrance. This may be the echoing sounds from the jungle or the waves crashing onto the shores, no matter the concepts, the purpose is to thicken the air with anticipation. Something is about to happen when or if the masquerader reaches to the centre of the stage with a calm gait. The lights are dimmed and the music drastically switches to a popular Soca tune igniting the fuel for the masquerader to play his or herself in majestic glory, aided by the special effects such as shooting confetti, smoke or finally morphing into a different costume altogether by pulling a lever.

And what would be the preliminaries without controversy or a mishap. Masqueraders tugging with their costumes or are just unable to completely turn it around because of its size. The wind is also a factor and there is a chance for a costume collapsing on stage, or a masquerader by exhaustion trying to fight against it. So enough said, this video clip explains it all…..year after year after year. Place close attention to the commentary. – thebookmann

See the kings and Queens on Youtube


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