The Carnival King and Queen competition is back where it belongs. This is the sentiment of two-time Carnival King Wade Madray as he weighed in on the finals of the competition being returned to Dimanche Gras.
“It’s exactly what it was supposed to be. It’s tradition. It’s the role of the Merry Monarch. The Merry Monarch rings in Carnival,” he said.
Madray believes the competition “should never have been taken out of Dimanche Gras show”.
He criticised the Dimanche Gras show since the King and Queen competition was moved as being “just a calypso show” which he said hurt the night’s attendance.
Madray was crowned Carnival King in 2011 and 2014.
Roxanne Omalo, Carnival Queen 2018 also told Guardian Media she believes the return was “a good thing”.
The previous two instalments of the annual competition were removed from the night’s lineup and placed in their own show due to concerns over the length of the Demanche Gras proceedings with other competitions such as the Calypso Monarch explained T&T Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA) president Rosalind Gabriel in an interview with Guardian Media yesterday.
She said this was a trend they intended to keep in this year’s iteration of the competition with it occurring the Friday before carnival, however, they were asked to change the date to facilitate the International Soca Monarch which was carded for the same night.
“I then asked if we could have the King and Queen on Demanche Gras and it was readily accepted,” she explained.
“We (the TTCBA) are very happy the Kings and Queens is back on Demanche Gras...the Kings and Queens are very happy to be back on Dimanche Gras. I can tell you with all my years of carnival experience, the Kings and Queens wish was always to be in Dimanche Gras- always,” she continued.
Asked if they intended to keep the move as a permanent return, Gabriel said: “Let’s see how this year goes before we talk about next year”.
She does not believe the shifting dates of recent years would hurt the competition’s brand in any way.
The final of the Junior King and Queen competition would take place on Carnival Thursday at Adam Smith Square.
Reporter: Rishard Khan