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Sep 16, 2016

Final Night of Mas Camps as Carnival 2016 Draws Near

The spectacular carnival road march takes place this Saturday in Belize City. City residents, visitors and others will be lining up the route to view the display of color and rhythm as the bands gyrate to the latest soca sounds from start to finish. This year, there is a record number of bands participating in the bacchanal. On Thursday night, the final camps took place on the south and north sides of the city; there was a combination of new and experienced bands. News Five’s Duane Moody got in the groove as well. Here is his report.

 

Sandra Mahler, Carnival Committee

“This year we have sixteen bands participating—six juniors and ten seniors—the biggest ever, even from last year. So we are anticipating much better costumes. I mean band leaders are going to showcase what they learned in the workshops so this Saturday you don’t want to miss this. Come out and see what Belize and Belizeans have to offer.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

And then it was the final camp night that featured three bands—the last of the juniors as well as a veteran and a newcomer in the senior competition. Our first stop was on Regent Street at the Sunshine Masqueraders camp. Now Sunshine Mas Band is the only camp to field both a senior and a junior group this year and the theme for the juniors is Candy Land. Lollipops, cotton candy, gumdrops, ice cream and cupcakes – it’s all in the mix.

 

Ian Young

Ian Young, Sunshine Masqueraders Mas Band

“The junior band has been in existence for sixteen years and we decided to do candy land this year because over the years that we have been involved in carnival, we have pretty much exhausted everything about Belize. And I think we represented our country well over the past sixteen years—ourselves along with all the other carnival groups. This year we are focusing on Candy land, we decided to go a little bit fictional this year.”

 

Newcomer to the carnival scene is Mystical Version Mas Band. But they are no rookies because its band leaders are former revelers of the Victoria Street Posse. This year, their theme is Garden Goddesses.

 

Deshawn Ramsey

Deshawn Ramsey, Mystical Version Mas Band

“We are not new to carnival because we had a band around here while growing up. We enjoyed that as Victoria Street Posse and my sister decided to come out and bring out her carnival band and that is why we name it Mystical Version Mas Band and we are trying to bring back the vibrancy of carnival.”

 

Over on St. Thomas Street in Belize City, veterans Mother Nature’s Creation Carnival Band got creative by “Presenting History through Carnival Fantasy.”

 

Leroy Green

Leroy Green, Mother Nature’s Creation Carnival Band

“We abide by the theme, “Presenting History through Carnival Fantasy.” Normally we present something that is Belizean, though it is presented as a fantastic and spectacular presentation. This year, we decided to go with the overall theme of snippets, which is the word meaning bits and pieces—putting the Belizean context that we want to present to the public on Saturday. The first group is royalty because even if we wish to forget it, there is a bit of blue blood in our veins because of the English men and Spanish invaders who intermingled and caused that part of us to exist. The second group is a part which we all love; we call that part roots because it represents the spirit of Africa. And then the third group represents what the month of September is all about in Belize, celebration.”

 

The mas camps have been ongoing without a hitch; that is until Wednesday night when at least two persons were injured after an object was hurled into a group of spectators at one of the camps. But carnival is about unity or togetherness and celebrating in the bacchanal, says Carnival Ambassador Whitney Swift.

 

Whitney Swift

Whitney Swift, Carnival Ambassador

“Carnival is coming together as one…togetherness. Even though we all want to be that first place winner, it’s about celebration and as Belizeans coming together and celebrating and dancing in the streets and enjoying ourselves.”

 

Duane Moody

“I’ve seen you around at almost all the camps. Why do you go around?”

 

Whitney Swift

“Well I actually love all the costumes on display. I love to see all the revelers dancing and enjoying themselves; it’s carnival…why wouldn’t we want to enjoy ourselves supporting each other? That’s what  I plan to do as the carnival ambassador.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

Tune in at one p.m. on Saturday for our live coverage of the Carnival 2016. You can also catch it live on Facebook…and if you are mobile, don’t be left out because you can view all the action on your phone. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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