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Arima Calypso Monarch and 2006 Carnival Launch
Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

Arima Calypso Monarch and 2006 Carnival Launch

By Staff Article
January 25, 2006

James 'Joey' Hargreaves performing - Miss Julie
James 'Joey' Hargreaves performing - Miss Julie
The Arima Calypso Monarch Preliminaries and Arima Carnival 2006 Launch were held on Sunday 22nd January, 2006 next to the Arima Bus Terminus, opposite First Citizens Bank in the borough of Arima. The preliminary round of the Arima Calypso Monarch was scheduled to begin at 1pm but started about an hour after the proposed time. Thirty-five calypso artistes performed on stage with hardly any intermissions between them. Although the rain had threatened several performances, that did not stop the Calypsonians from giving their best or the crowd from growing larger. Calypsos ranging from political and social commentary to "party" tunes were delivered by the performers and they were well received by the audience. This leg of the Arima Calypso Monarch Competition went on until after 4pm and had to be stopped to allow for the Arima Carnival 2006 Launch to begin. Unfortunately, not all competitors were able to execute their calypsos because of the time constraint and their performances were postponed to a later date.

About half an hour after the close of the Arima Calypso Monarch Preliminaries, the Arima 2006 Carnival Launch begun. By this time the area became more crowded with enthusiastic Carnival supporters mainly from Arima and the surrounding areas. What had upset some patrons was the move by members of the Arima Carnival Committee to remove them from their chairs to allow dignitaries to be seated. This was very unsatisfactory for two reasons: the first was that the dignitaries had to remain standing for a while until people were removed and the word "reserved" was pasted on their seats and the second was that the people were removed from their seats at the fancy of the Committee, which was embarrassing for some.

Despite these setbacks, the event ran relatively smoothly and quickly and most were left satisfied. The event was opened with the National Anthem played by the Prisons Band and the opening prayer by Mrs. Karen Nelson. Following this were welcoming remarks given by Cllr. Ricardo Bharath Hernandez, the Chairman of the Arima Carnival Committee.

Left: Mayor of Arima, Alderman Eustace Nancis and Mr. Q
Left: Mayor of Arima, Alderman Eustace Nancis and Mr. Q
Immediately after were short greetings by the Mayor of Arima, Alderman Eustace Nancis, the Parliamentary Representative for Arima, Minister Penelope Beckles, and the Minister of State in the Ministry of Community Development, the Honorable Eddie Hart. Mrs. Beckles indicated in her speech that the borough of Arima is synonymous with culture, including the musical genius of the Grand Master of calypso the Lord Kitchener, the prodigious Bunji Garlin, the New Tones Steel Band Orchestra and the unique sounds of Parang music. Given this rich history, she predicted even better things to spring forth from Arima. Mr. Eddie Hart also expressed positive sentiments about the Arima district and added that he was doubly happy because Brian Lara scored another century. He further stated the good news that in the year 2005 approximately 54,000 visitors came to Trinidad and hoped that even more would visit the island this year. Further, he said that Trinidad Carnival has taken off like "wildfire" the world over so that good things are happening for the country.

Cleave 'Zion Child' Joseph performing on stage with his carnival section 'Colours'
Cleave 'Zion Child' Joseph performing on stage with his carnival section 'Colours'
After the speeches by the dignitaries, the show moved right along to the entertainment side of things. Musical guests such as the rising star, the young Ferdinand Smith, Baby Doll, Wayne Pierre, Skatie, Poser, Sheldon Nugget, Antics and other musicians including the Prisons Band entertained patrons. By this time the crowd got even larger as interested persons filled the venue to observe the event. Worthy of mention was the spectacular performance of Lima Calbio. She wooed the audience with her saucy performance by showing them the way Arimians could "get on".

The audience seemed satisfied despite some of the initial impediments. Although seemingly minor to some, those slipups should not be repeated.

Arima Calypso Monarch Preliminaries 2006 in pictures: