Members of the committee are meeting at 5 this afternoon to discuss this and other issues, according to Minister of Culture Eleston Adams.
“I know a number of people have been complaining as to whether it should have been on Saturday. Although the announcement has been made for Sunday, we’ll still discuss it,” the minister told The Daily OBSERVER.
“I had planned that CDC would have met to reflect on the entire Carnival celebrations; that was the original plan, but because of the weather, then the meeting would discuss the way forward as it relates to the final day of our Carnival celebrations.”
Yesterday, one of this country’s most revered calypsonians Sir Mclean Emanuel, known as King Short Shirt, asked carnival organisers to review the date that the activity has been rescheduled to.
“Sunday is not the best day for us to gyrate in the streets, particularly when the churches are in motion,” he said.
“I do believe Saturday would be a better time because business places close half day on Saturday so it would be better for us. People would be able to go to church Sunday morning, get up Monday morning and go to work. If they have the parade Sunday, people would not go to church the way they should, neither would they get up on Monday morning and go to work.”
Around 1 pm yesterday, CDC Chairman Vaughn Walter announced that authorities were rescinding an earlier decision for the parade to proceed as planned.
It was the first time in recent history that this has occurred. It was caused by incessant rainfall brought on by Tropical Storm Emily, which passed south of Antigua & Barbuda Monday night.
“You know you have all these electronic bands that are playing. We don’t want anybody being electrocuted with this weather,” Walter stated.
“The news is that the parade will now take place this coming Sunday starting off at the same time from the Multipurpose Centre.”
Band leaders Alister Thomas of Ali & Associates and Erna Mae Tonge-Hurst of Dynamics said they understood concerns relating to holding the activity on Sunday, but did not say they oppose the decision.
Judging of the bands customarily takes place on Monday, but was rescheduled to yesterday after heavy afternoon rainfall damaged costumes and forced some bands to stay off the roads.
On Tuesday, the CDC opted to proceed with the parade following an emergency meeting, but as weather conditions worsened with prolonged showers, the committee chairman announced that plans had to be changed following another emergency meeting involving the prime minister, national security minister, the culture minister, and mas’ association.
While Myst and Xtreme mas’ troupes were on the road, Walter said, between 90 and 95 per cent of the bands opted against doing so.
“Obviously it’s going to be an additional expense. As it is right now, all the floats are already down at Multipurpose Centre being drenched in rain and everything but the cost factor can not come to mind right now,” said Walter.
“We can not put that in comparison to the safety of anyone in the general public. I prefer that we have expenditure rather than lose a life.”
The CDC boss is hoping for clear skies and sunshine in the coming days to dry out the waterlogged Carnival City and he apologised to those who visited the country to partake in the festivities.
He said all tickets bought for the viewing of the bands at Carnival City would be honoured and encouraged those who haven’t bought tickets as yet to do so.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)