ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Tropical Storm Emily may have rained, quite literally, on the Carnival Development Committee’s parade on Tuesday, but the CDC now hopes that Saturday would prove to the ideal day for a redo.
The storm rolled south of the island late Monday triggering overnight showers that continued on Tuesday. Despite a tropical storm watch, which was later dropped, Carnival officials early Tuesday said the day’s festivities would proceed as planned.
However, after showers failed to let up by the scheduled 1 pm parade start, CDC Chairman Vaughn Walter pulled the plug on the event.
Organisers had originally set their sights on Sunday for the rescheduled event but were quickly confronted with public calls for another day to be considered. The debate on the appropriate date continued on radio throughout Wednesday as callers to OBSERVER AM voiced their concerns about the postponement.
The public outcry preceded a CDC meeting chaired by Culture Minister Eleston Adams. The meeting was called to seek input from experts and stakeholders including the Met Office, National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), the mas’ association and CDC officials.
“Saturday was chosen in the best interest of the festival and has proven to be the better day following discussions with the major players namely the judges and members of the mas’ association,” Walter told The Daily OBSERVER late last night.
The parade is now set to leave the Multipurpose Cultural Centre at Perry Bay at noon on Saturday and will follow the traditional Carnival Tuesday route: on to Market Street, left on Newgate Street, right on Popeshead Street, right on St John’s Street, right on Cross Street, left on High Street, left on Independence Drive and into the southwest gate of Carnival City.
Judging of the various bands will be done on the parade route and last lap will follow the announcement of winners.