Local Vibes
May 23, 2008
Regulations to protect mas bands to be enforced

Legislation to regulate persons from invading mas bands during street parades will soon be enforced here.

The regulation which comes into effect just in time for Vincy Mas 2008 will give authorized Parade Band Marshals the authority to ask persons who are not a part of the band to leave the area, or to seek the assistance of the police to remove ‘the invaders’.{{more}}

Persons not complying with the regulation could be arrested and charged, and may face fines of between $500 and $1000.

According to president of the Carnival Bands Association Hugh Raguette, the move is a long overdue one, and is a request that the association has been making over the years.

“For donkey years we have been having a serious problem of the invasion of the masquerade bands on Carnival Tuesday.”

“We have put up with it for 25 years and made appeals after appeals for persons to desist from this practice, so enough is enough.”

Raguette said that persons who have paid to be in a band should be given the opportunity to enjoy themselves without the interference of non masqueraders, who at times have had skirmishes with revelers or confrontations with the police.

“Masquerade bands are for masqueraders, and in particular for those who have purchased costumes to play mas in a particular band. These people deserve their money’s worth.”

Minister of Culture René Baptiste, adding to the topic, said that she expects the new regulation to be abided by when it is enforced, and also expects that more regulations will be put in place as the country’s top cultural event grows in size and stature.

“The way people abided by the No Glass Bottle Policy, I am expecting them to comply with this one.”

“As Carnival grows, there are things which will evolve, and as they do, regulations may have to be put in place to ensure the smooth running of Vincy Mas. (JJ)