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�arnival2019 CARNIVAL MEMORIES 16 Winner’s Row

17 Your Favourite Celebrities 18 Run Wid It

19 C2k19 Headlines

ON THE COVER

SPECIAL

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Carnival Magazine 2019

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The true art of costuming should never be lost amid the ribald of Carnival. Our cover photo pays homage to the design talents and craftsmanship of our local masmakers, as an individual costume is showcased in all it’s splendor. It certainly doesn’t hurt that our national colours shine through in this amazing piece that is well portrayed by a junior masquerader. The youth have made their mark in song throughout the season and this photo reveals that the future of masquerading is also in good hands. Cover photo by Cleon Henry CARNIVAL 2019 ET&T

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FAVOURITE FETES 23 Beach House 24 IUP 25 Out In South 26 Cocktails Canapes & Soca 27 Issa Soca Jam Down 28 Yorke All Inclusive 29 Estate 101 All Inclusive 30 Blue Range All Inclusive 31 Soca Brainwash: The 70’s 32 Tribe Ignite 33 Tropical Luau 34 Rise N Roast 36 Different 37 Sekon Sunday 39 Revel Nation 40 Where Yuh From?

ROAD READY 43. Kiddies Carnival 49. Monday Madness 59. Tuesday Turn Up

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Editor in Chief - Anthony

Gomez

Director of Production - Marvin Mason Director of Photography - Cleon Henry Copy Editor - Marvin Mason Design Director - Richard Lyder Art Director - Richard Lyder

FEATURES Senior Editor: Marvin Mason Photographers: Tanya Burgin, Kevon Duke, Leston Edwards, Kelton Francis, Cleon Henry, Jason Tang

OPERATIONS President and CEO ANTHONY GOMEZ Executive Vice President/Editorial Manager MARVIN MASON Executive Vice President/Operations Manager KERRI INNISS Financial Administrator FAYOLA BRAITHWAITE Lead Coordinator – Events Division CLEON HENRY Administrative Assistant SHAKEERA CAMPBELL

Advertising Offices PO Box 1879 P.O.S. Trinidad WI. TEL/FAX: 868 638 1156-9 and 638 1160

www.amgtt.com The ETNT magazine is published by Abstract Media Group Company Ltd in the island of Trinidad and Tobago and is protected by strict copyright laws and is not to be reproduced in full or in part without the written consent from the management of Abstract publishing.

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from the editor

Hello ET&T Famalay! Carnival came and went once again and for many of you it has been a season that has been hard to say goodbye to. There were lots of headlining moments amid the bacchanal and we hope you enjoy reading about them later in the magazine. Plus, there are tons of awesome photos to help you catalogue your C2K19 experience and it is my hope that this collectible glossy does justice to enhancing your great memories. The world’s greatest show once again attracted people from around the globe to our shores to experience our culture. Several celebrities were among them, including Ashanti (who made a musical contribution), Mya, Lil Kim and the cast of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. Big up to the Grenadian sensation Mr. Killa and several of his countrymen who made huge impacts in fetes and on the Soca Monarch stage. Shouts out to all the other islands and nations that figured predominantly in the festival as well. This international growth was truly welcomed. On the local scene, Calypso seems to be in good hands as the youth continue to excel. Young Ronaldo London copped both Calypso Monarch and the Young King this year, while young Karene Asche and Helon Francis placed in the top three. An excellent Panorama competition saw BP Renegades tie Desperadoes with 10 championships each and arranger Duvone Stewart win the Panorama triple crown. His arrangements won the Large (Renegades), Medium (Pan Elders) and small (Defence Force Steel Orchestra) competitions. Stewart’s numerous victories in recent years make him one of the all-time great arrangers in steelpan history. Power Soca made a huge comeback and the energy and frenzy of Famalay did just enough to cut the Savannah Grass out of a Road March title. Congratulations to Machel, Bunji and Skinny on their achievement. This was among the most secure carnival experiences we have had, so Gary Griffith can take a big up too. There is much to enjoy within these 72 pages, so without further ado, ET&T presents to you Carnival in all its glory. Till we meet again.

Anthony Gomez Editor in Chief

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WINNER’S

ROW After last year’s frenetic short season, all stakeholders seemed overly thrilled to have a full season of fetes, soca and more. After three years of decidedly slower tempo tracks dominating Carnival airwaves, Power Soca returned with a bang. The international reach of the artform was also exemplified by the number of popular songs sung by non-Trinbagonians dominating airwaves and even competitions. Some grumbled as foreigners ran away with some of the silverware and there is still much debate about how the Road March should be adjudicated thanks to Kees starting a petition. However, one must say it was a great year for Carnival’s competitive side. Here are 16

ET&T CARNIVAL 2019

CARNIVAL QUEEN Shynel Brizan (Mariella, Shadow of Consciousness) CALYPSO MONARCH Ronaldo London (Man’s Imagination) YOUNG KING Ronaldo London (Man’s Imagination)

who came out victorious in the Panorama, International Soca Monarch, Calypso Monarch, Chutney Monarch, Parade of the Bands and more! CARNIVAL BAND OF THE YEAR K2K Alliance & Partners (Through the Stained-Glass Windows) LARGE BAND OF THE YEAR - The Lost Tribe (Taj) MEDIUM BAND OF THE YEAR K2K Alliance & Partners (Through the Stained-Glass Windows) SMALL BAND OF THE YEAR Tribal Connection Cultural Promotions (The Great Gathering, A Tribute to Astil) CARNIVAL KING – Joseph Lewis – (Ghel­gath -The De­mon Lord of Ice)

CALYPSO QUEEN – Natasha ‘Sexy Suzie’ Nurse (De Wrong Name) EXTEMPO MONARCH Brian London INTERNATIONAL POWER SOCA MONARCH – Mr. Killa (Run Wid It) INTERNATIONAL GROOVY SOCA MONARCH – Swappi (Party Start) CHUTNEY SOCA MONARCH Nishard Mayrhoo and Neval Chetal (Fyah of Change) PANORAMA CHAMPS (Large) BpTT Renegades (Hookin Meh) PANORAMA CHAMPS (Medium) Pan Elders (The Will) PANORAMA CHAMPS (Small) TT Defence Force (Maxi Dub) ROAD MARCH CHAMPION Skinny Fabulous, Bunji Garlin, Machel Montano (Famalay)

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PAPARAZZI

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DAN

THE PICK UP SOMETHING

EDITION Trinis hardly need an invitation to get loose, but this Carnival there was added impetus. Mr. Killa commanded all to do as they were told, and the instruction was clear… Pick Up Something… Anything!!

Toting her like a bag of cement

Doubling up on the foundation

Run wid it

Role reversal

Even on the big stage

Watch those hands bro!

No cooler was safe

He was smooth with his

What did the tarpaulin ever do to you?

It did not matter the dresscode

Full costume couldn’t save her

Smartly using his leg for extra stability

A night-time tote

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Pick up something and wave

She seemed to be enjoying her vantage point

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THE SEASON’S

Top Talking Points

T

ated by Ronnie McIntosh. However, George didn’t make a highly anticipated appearance at Montano’s mega Machel Monday event citing a lack of rehearsals. Only time will tell if all wounds were truly healed.

Machel vs Iwer People love beef, so when Machel Montano and Neil ‘Iwer’ George crossed lyrical swords in 2019, antennae went up everywhere. George dropped a diss track entitled Road March Bacchanal which Montano followed with his diss entitled Dr. Mashup. Iwer then released some extra verses to the song before Machel released arguably the greatest soca diss track of all time in Dr. Mash Up 2. All the while, fetes thrived off the back and forth between the two icons which continued on stages. Everyone believed it was all in good fun until Iwer George put out a press release on his social media pages detailing the chronology of where things went awry between them. George went as far as adding fuel to the fire that a ‘Soca Mafia’ exists and spoke on how Chinese Laundry banned his songs from his radio networks for ten years. Eventually things were patched up between the two thanks to a meeting medi-

Cro Cro’s Cuss Out Multiple Calypso Monarch Weston "Cro Cro" Rawlins was suspended from his day job as a Regional Coordinator at the Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) after a viral video surfaced of him engaged in a ‘cuss out’ on the nation’s roadways. In the video, Cro Cro was seen hurling expletives at an unidentified person while driving a marked CEPEP van. The recorder of the video said Cro Cro’s behaviour was in response to being told not to drive while on his cell phone. Rawlins offered a different explanation and said that before the man started taping the man used a racial epithet against him. In true Cro Cro fashion, he made a song about his version of the incident, crassly detailing everything that allegedly happened while stating he was justified in his response. Though the song got great responses during Rawlins’ performances during the season, judges for the various calypso competitions turned a blind eye to the “Mighty Midget” who did not even make it to the Calypso Fiesta

his year saw lots of changes the carnival landscape. A Medium Band became eligible and instantly won Band of The Year. Much like the Bajan invasion roughly 20 years ago, this year saw a Grenadian invasion. Speaking of Grenadian invasion; Mr. Killa’s Run Wid It was so big a song, police had to enforce laws concerning people’s reaction the its lyrics. The infamous North Stand was removed and replaced with the Northern Greens for Panorama. The Dimanche Gras show reverted to a concert and the Calypso Monarch became merged with Kaisorama. At that show, the judging for Humourous, Social and Political commentary calypsos was removed. There were so many talking points. However, this article will touch on the absolute biggest talking points of the season. Here they are in no particular order.

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stage. Cro Cro did become one of the biggest memes of the year so far and T-shirts were printed to cement his meme status. Machel Sings Hindu Spiritual Several followers of the Hindu faith became incensed, following a performance by soca artiste Machel Montano at Woodford Cafe. In the Carnival event, Montano found it appropriate to sing Hindu chants during his set. This led to some believing his actions desecrated their religion. Pundits and practitioners alike expressed dissatisfaction with him mixing the sacred and secular. Montano though, saw little wrong with it as he expressed what was genuinely in his heart to perform at the time. Those who follow Montano know that he is no stranger to the beliefs and practices of the Hindu faith as he incorporates it into his daily life. “For me, chanting mantras is a part of my daily life and I understand the power of it, the positivity of it and what it says,” He stated. Machel did go on to offer an apology to those he offended and was open to further dialogue to clarify what exactly caused the offence. Benjai’s Cancer Musings Rodney ‘Benjai’ LeBlanc created a social media furore when he hinted that he was stricken by cancer. In a mid-January Facebook post LeBlanc posited hypothetically: “If I told you I don’t got long on this earth What would you say! IF I TOLD YOU I GOT CANCER.” Needless to say, fans got scared and animated and word spread like wildfire. Benjai followed that up with a few more similar posts before quelling the flames a couple days later with a post that read: “People I’m Ok there are so many people that need our support! Compassion is needed more today! Look at the reCARNIVAL 2019 ET&T

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C2K19’S TOP TALKING POINTS sponse to (WHAT IF)! Ps I’m ok just food for thought!" It was another vague post which did not really clear things up completely. Things also got a bit more confusing when in a reply to a social media post, Benjai detailed that he said what if because he still had to get himself checked adding that his “bro wasn’t as fortunate.” Whatever, the case, our prayers are with you Rodney. Denise Belfon’s Destructive Dubplate Denise Saucy Wow Belfon has done a lot for the culture over the years and deserves her space in our soca pantheon. However, all great artistes experience slumps and the last few years haven’t been particularly kind to the wining queen. With that said, it was viewed as a desperate cry for relevance when a video leaked of the singer performing a dubplate featuring some ill-advised anti-gay lyrics. The song which referenced killing “batty boys” among other homophobic slang caused an uproar among the LBGTQ community who threatened boycotts of the star and said demanded a public apology. In response, Belfon said such tracks were not uncommon and it was just a bit of picong done for a Jamaican DJ to use in a sound clash. She went on to explain that the offended lot didn’t fully understand dubplate culture and that she was in no way attacking the gay community. Life in London Things must be nice for veteran calypsonian Brian London and his family. His two nephews Rivaldo and Ronaldo copped major trophies at carnival competitions this year with songs that were written by him. Plus, Brian himself copped the National Extempo Monarch on Carnival Thursday. Rivaldo, 17 of Pleasantville won the national Junior Calypso Monarch crown. Fyzabad-born Ronaldo London dethroned Helon Francis to win the National Calypso Monarch title to follow his Young King’s title won a few weeks earlier. The brothers and their uncle pulled off an unprecedented

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family achievement to force their way into our cultural record books.

Road March Not Famalay Friendly Skinny Fabulous, Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin combined for a high-power track that not only demolished fete crowds, but was being touted as the Road March leading up to Carnival Monday and Tuesday. The problem was people were unsure if the song would be eligible to win since a Vincentian contributed to the song so largely. However, TUCO cited a rule which revealed that the song would be eligible since Skinny Fabulous’ one-third contribution to the lead vocal performance was a minority figure. There was more Road March bacchanal to come as Kes The Band’s Savannah Grass continued to grow nearing the judging days. Many claimed it was a superior song overall, but sometimes sheer quality does not a Road March make. Ultimately, the difference in speed between the two songs proved the deciding factor for revellers who chose to jump to Famalay 139 times more than Kees’ track. The results eventually led to a public petition with TUCO once again reviewing the way the Road March is adjudicated.

biggest talking point of the event was the fact that there were so many foreign artistes competing in the finals. This should not be an issue – after all, it is the International Soca Monarch – However, many of these foreigners were favourites to win in both the Groovy and Power categories. Of the 16 finalists, eight were non-Trinbagonian. Ricardo Drue (Antigua), Teddyson John (St Lucia), Mandella (Grenada) and V’ghn (Grenada) all battled in the groovy competition which Swappi eventually won. Teddyson John and V’ghn got 2nd and 3rd spots respectively. Four Grenadians competed in the Power category (Chingee, Mr. Killa, Lil Natty and Thunder and Mr Legz) with Mr. Killa winning the title and Mr. Legz taking third place. This rounded off a full-on Grenadian invasion. Now, the competition can only get better as locals try to regain their dominance of a genre they invented. What are your thoughts on the season’s biggest stories? Hit us up on Facebook to share your memories.

The Changing Face of The ISM Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez surprised many when she assumed the role of International Soca Monarch Chairperson. She promised to do all within her power to not only save the fledgling brand, but take it to new heights. Few can argue that she did not do a great job in her first stint. The show garnered a lot of hype despite having only a few of the more popular and established artistes competing. Artistes agreed that operations backstage went much more smoothly than years prior. However, the www.amgtt.com


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SENSES

Beach House is one of those rare events that was a must-attend from inception. The uber-decadent Carnival all-inclusive still holds its air of exclusivity and that may be the reason why the excitement levels are so high at the fete. Those who attend feel like one of the special ones. No doubt the promoters do their part in making attendees feel special by providing the very best culinary delights and beverages one can imagine. Themed Senses, the Chaguaramas event truly opened up the senses of patrons and gave them a sense that missing the party would not have made sense. There is so much we can say about this extravaganza, but we rather show you in photos.

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I UP:

Billed as the “The most iconic & anticipated carnival WET fete!� by its promoters, IUP had the expectations of patrons high heading into the event. Fortunately for both parties, the event did not disappoint. The masses that showed up to the Five Islands amusement park for the cooler party jumped, pranced and sang away the morning to a strong entertainment cast. The mixed crowed allowed for the event to be entertaining without being overly wild and at times it genuinely felt like a fete from back in the good old days. Here is a peek at some of the action. For full galleries, check us out on Facebook.

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SOUTH 6

On Friday January 25th the AIR Committee put forward the sixth incarnation of their Out In South Premium Carnival Cooler Experience. They successfully transformed the car park of Brian Lara Cricket stadium in Tarouba into one of the most pumping venues in the country on that night with great ambiance and an awesome array of entertainment. The patrons made sure all of Trinbago knew the southland should never be overlooked as a partying district again. Our photographers captured the action and we are proud to share a peek of it with you. Go to our Facebook page for the full gallery.

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COCKTAILS,

Pêche Patisserie collaborated with Arief Rafeeq and the team of Premier Events to delve into the Carnival arena’s all-inclusive event space in 2019. The fete was a follow up to a similar event entitled Cocktails and Canapés hosted at the restaurant in October 2018. However, due to the overwhelming response they decided to capitalize on the momentum during festival season. Needless to say, Cocktails, Canapés & Soca was an instant hit. The ultra-premium party experience took place at the Trinidad Hilton and featured a host of gastronomic delights nary unheard of in a fete setting. Well-dressed patrons engulfed the venue and had a spectacular time to the strains of sweet soca. We anticipate this fete to be one that is going to take over the Carnival scene very quickly. Here are a few photos. Check our Facebook page for more.

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JAMDOWN

Team Touché took to the seas on February 16th for a soca jam session aboard the C Prowler. The promotional unit has been rapidly building its brand into a force to be reckoned with and this event showed that their steady ascent continues. The boat ride was the outfit’s first carnival event and those in attendance would no doubt be sure to add any follow up to their 2020 fete calendar. Free eats gave the patrons the fuel to wine the evening away, while coolers came filled and left empty on a night where it felt just right to ‘overdo.’ Peep the pics.

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PRESENTS

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A star-studded cast was just one of the many things that made Yorke all-inclusive stand out. The event has been known to provide great ambiance as well as excellent food and drink options. It was no surprise that patrons expressed satisfaction in those departments. Moreover, the vibe was amazing. A mixed crowed blissfully jammed and sang the night away giving credence to the promoters’ decision to name this year’s event Euphoria. We were sure happy to be a part of it. Here are some photos. Check for more on ET&T Weekly’s Facebook page.

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Estate 101 aimed to provide great ambiance, fine cuisine and star-studded entertainment for their swanky Carnival Saturday soiree and once again they delivered. The Maraval venue came alive to the sweet strains of soca on March 2nd as local and regional artistes kept the energy pumping. The upscale event did not hold back on spoiling their patrons and the party stayed popping all the way till it’s advertised shut down time. Even then, patrons wanted more. Such were the vibes on hand. For the full gallery, visit our Facebook page. For now, take a gander at this.

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ALL INCLUSIVE

The Blue Range all-inclusive returned in fine fettle with its Arabian Nights themed fete. February 23rd was the date when the vibes skyrocketed to the sounds of the region’s top soca stars and DJ’s. Of course, it was an all-inclusive, so premium food and drink was available all night long. However, even though the patrons feasted and drank they did not neglect jumping, wining and freeing up themselves. T’was a fun experience that will no doubt be highly anticipated in 2020.

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THE 70’S

Nobody pulls out the stops for a party like Private Ryan. The St. Mary’s College grounds on Serpentine Road was transformed into retro heaven for the 70’s themed soca soiree. The Carnival Saturday breakfast party attracted a massive turnout and in true 70’s fashion, the party was in full vibes overload. Most patrons played into the theme with their retro dress codes and some even pulled out the old school dance moves for the classic tunes. This fete was one for the ages and it cements Private Ryan’s Soca Brainwash series as one of the greatest regional events of our generation.

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Tribe promised that their 2019 premium drinks inclusive fete would be a grand affair as they welcomed the Oyo Empire to light up the stage for its fans. Machel Montano and full band headlined the entertainment. The bars never ran out of ultra-premium fuel and the attendees set the tone for spiciness all night long. Hot gals and guys gyrated and jumped the night away to ensure that this party stacked up with the other Tribe events as being epic.

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LUAU

Scenic Green Meadows, Santa Cruz was the venue for the EEEmpire’s Hawaiian-themed carnival fiesta this year. It followed up a massively successful event in 2018’s truncated season with a party experience that one will be hard-pressed to top. The aromas of fine Hawaiian cuisine filled the air amid one of the most beautifully-landscaped and decorated venues among 2019’s fete lineup. The patrons themselves were beautiful and it was level sweetness as eye candy paired with good vibes to make this fete a must attend in 2020.

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Nothing beats partying amid lush tree canopies and tropical sea breezes with a spectacular view. This Bayview event featured those elements and much more. The usual roasts, beautiful women and no bad vibes provided for a memorable experience. Things turned up another notch when Mr. Killa took to the stage and ensured that everything that wasn’t nailed down to the ground ended up in the air. It was nothing but runaway vibes in Maracas. Here’s a preview. More can be seen on ET&T’s Facebook page.

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People did as the fete’s name KAIRI PEOPLE PRESENT Kairi suggested and tried something differ-

ent for this edition of their popular allinclusive fete. They changed the venue from their regular Fitzblackman Drive haunt to the Government Campus Plaza. However, they stayed with their usual amazing value for money proposition. For roughly half the price of the average all-inclusive Kairi People were somehow able to provide just as much quality food choices as some of the most premium events. Their drinks lineup wasn’t shabby either. Artistes galore graced the stage and gave the large turnout more than they could ever have bargained for. Here is a little of what went down.

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SUNDAY

The Empire lent a hand to soca prince Sekon Sta for his first concert on January 13th. Hosted at Crews Inn, the ambiance was intimate; yet, the atmosphere was wild enough to truly be called a Carnival fete. A plethora of his artistic peers came out to lend a hand as they celebrated the career of the prodigious young talent. Sekon Sta himself gave a rousing account of his repertoire for the strong crowd on hand. Here is a bit of the action. For the full gallery, peep our Facebook page.

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The traffic leading to Wrightson Road’s Breakfast Shed during the afternoon of Sunday 27th, January signaled the pace that was about to come. Cars slowed down as drivers gaped at the cooler-toting guys and gals heading into the boarding venue for what was an amazing offshore affair. Promoter Khalid CSI Hinds brought along his DJ brethren to create a festive atmosphere and the patrons did the rest. This event seems to have already outgrown the seas and next carnival will tell if they choose to keep it exclusive or go for a more inclusive venue.

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Revel Nation has become the carnival week event for those who feel as though Machel Monday is more of a spectacle and prefer to see him in fete performance mode. The Fantastic Friday event again drew a good turnout despite having to compete with the International Soca Monarch and patrons got to see all the seasoned soca acts who opted out of the ISM this year. It rounded off a “work week� of nonstop parties headed into carnival weekend and it did so with a bang.

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People come from all around the globe to celebrate Carnival. It’s only right that they represent where they are from as they participate in the spectacle. LET’S SEE THOSE FLAGS!!!

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s e i d d i K Carnival

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Carnival is for everybody, not just the mature crowd. That is why we had to dedicate a segment of the magazine to the young ones. Many of us enjoy our first Carnival experiences on Carnival Saturday and Sunday morning for Kiddies Carnival. Here, we share some of these experiences as they were enjoyed by the junior masqueraders. After all, ET&T loves the kids. Children are the future of our culture.

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www.amgtt.com

CARNIVAL 2019 ET&T

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ET&T CARNIVAL 2019

www.amgtt.com


www.amgtt.com

CARNIVAL 2019 ET&T

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ET&T CARNIVAL 2019

www.amgtt.com


www.amgtt.com

CARNIVAL 2019 ET&T

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ET&T CARNIVAL 2019

www.amgtt.com


www.amgtt.com

CARNIVAL 2019 ET&T

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ET&T CARNIVAL 2019

www.amgtt.com


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E T&T Carnival Magazine 2019  

E T&T Carnival Magazine 2019  

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