Volunteers and would-be masqueraders in the bustle of activity in the Kalicharan mas camp.
Kalicharan Carnival is a band lead by Ivan Kalicharan and his wife, former Queen of Carnival, Wendy Kalicharan. The band dominates competition in the southern city of San Fernando and has been in existence since 1983. They’ve placed first 17 times over the past 29 years and are confident about their chances for this, their 30th year in mas. The presentation for this year is Rise of the Olympians and there are eight sections with a possible ninth to be added. When I visited their mas camp, Wendy Kalicharan was pleased to offer anecdotes about her years in mas (and much more). It was definitely an enjoyable visit. Check out their website, linked here, for more information. Mas in the south’s largest band is considerably less expensive than mas in the capital’s largest bands with prices ranging from TT $2100 – $3300 (approximately US $340 – $540).
Veteran Queen of the Bands, Wendy Kalicharan, describes her entry into the world of mas, her love for making and playing mas, and some of the challenges involved in making it all happen. To her left is a volunteer in the mas camp, Corinne, who has been working on Kalicharan costumes for the past 13 years ever since she first interned there in the government’s Youth Training Employment Program (YTEP).