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Sep 7, 2000

Southside mas camps prepare for carnival

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The carnival spirit revved up on Wednesday night as the city’s bands held their mas camps. News Five’s Jacqueline Woods visited some southside camps to get a peek at what we’ll see at Saturday’s road march.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

There are two more days to go before hundreds of Belizeans will be lining the streets to watch the millennium carnival road march. All nine bands are promising a show that will not soon be forgotten. During the past three months the groups have been working overtime to get their costumes ready for Saturdays’ parade…and as we found out on Wednesday night, things are really beginning to heat up on the southside of the city.

Marina Welcome, Band Leader, Jump Street Posse

“Well this year, Jump Street Posse is doing our fantasy of the beautiful undersea world. It’s kind of a fantasy of mine. I have never dived or anything before, but I just picture seeing the undersea world and I made it a fantasy for carnival.”

Jacqueline Woods

“I noticed there are far more glitters this year?”

Marina Welcome

“Yes, this year we are using a lot of glitters. It’s not really cheaper, but it makes the things more hyped up you know.”

This year, has not been easy one for Jump Street Posse as the junior band is without a costume designer. But it didn’t dampen the group’s spirit. Welcome took on the challenge and with the help of some volunteers created the outfits.

Marina Welcome

“It’s been very tough for me this year. I did my own design. I did my own with the help of some of the marshals, we did the work ourselves. We didn’t have a designer this year. I got help from the Department of Corrections. They are the ones that made the mermaid and it was rough this year.”

But all the hard work paid off last Saturday when the mermaid costume, worn by Shadene Ottley, captured first prize in the carnivals’ junior queen competition.

Shadene Ottley, “Avril”, The Mermaid

“Ooh it made my heart jump.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Was it difficult for you the night?”

Shadene Ottley

“Yes because I had to shake this costume and do a lot of movements and turning around.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Do you think you are ready for the long haul on Saturday?”

Shadene Ottley


Another junior band that hopes to win big in the road march is Black Pearl. The 50-member group will be portraying the Legend of Fire.

Dorla Vaughan, Band Leader, Black Pearl

“I think Belize has too much fires. Every minute you hear fire, fire, fire. So I just say let us do a little fire this year and I like the colours anyhow. The colours are outstanding.”

“I expect a prize you know. I don’t know the which one, but I hope I get one.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Let’s look at the costumes, how long have you guys been working on them?”

Dorla Vaughan

“For two months, but actually we put the costumes together in two weeks.”

C-Jamm, the band that took the two first prizes in the senior queen and king competition promises another strong performance. This year the band made sure that their costumes, which will be worn by 150 masqueraders, are far more elaborate.

Raul Villanueva, Costume Designer, C-Jamm

“Beauty I would say. Every year C-Jamm tries to come out with something new and this year it will be completely different from other years. So I would say beauty this year.”

Jacqueline Woods

“When did you start working on the costumes?”

Raul Villanueva

“I would say three months ago. Prior to that we do the drawing of the costumes, the ordering of the materials and then we had to wait for the materials to come in. We started late this year. However, we are on target because we finished all the costumes last night.”

It takes a lot of commitment and long hours to put together carnival costumes…and with the weekend fast approaching, the pressure is on to get as much done as possible.

Seleni Matus, Band Leader, C-Jamm

“Particularly now where it’s a few days leading up to carnival, our efforts are quite intensive at this point. It’s all culminating, and so tonight we’ve started giving out costumes. We have five sections, 150 strong, so it’s tonight and tomorrow night that we’ll be quite busy around camp as people come in and pick up their costumes.”

Jacqueline Woods

“You have 150 members this year. Is that more than last year?”

Seleni Matus

“Yes, it’s definitely a lot more than last year. We have always had about that amount, but last year we had shrunk. But this year we are kind of coming back full force, shown by our two wins at carnival king and queen and we are hoping to regain our title.”

Jacqueline Woods

“The group certainly won big Saturday night, so you’re expecting another win?”

Seleni Matus

“Oh definitely. We are quite prepared, everybody is in the mood, and you can feel it at camp. So we are coming out strong and we are encouraging the entire public to come out and watch the splendor and beauty of carnival.”

The C-Jamm Mas Camp was also visited by some very special people.

Alison Hinds (one a microphone)

“Barbados and Belize, together all the while. Let me hear you scream!”

The band is in Belize for the Higher Heights concert at the Belize City Centre on Saturday night.

Alison Hinds, Lead Singer, Square One

“Well as always, a high energy performance from Square One. A lot of our old tracks as well as tracks from off the newest album, which is called Higher Heights. I understand that there are quite a few tracks that are popular here in Belize along with past music and so on. So we will be playing all kinds of music, which is what I am sure people want to hear, and just to give people a really good show. We had a great time the last time we were here, and we are looking forward to an even better time this year.”

Square One says while they will not be performing in the carnival road march they will definitely be watching the parade. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

Saturday’s carnival road march begins at Yabra and winds up at the National Stadium. If you can’t make it out to the streets you can join Jackie Woods and myself for our live broadcast right here on Channel Five.

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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