Trinidad: Romance At The Socadrome As DJ Proposes

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – “When we outside is ah ocean of love.”

The opening line of Mical Teja’s “DNA” seemed to set the scene for Carnival, as there was love and romance in the air at the Socadrome in the Jean Pierre Complex, Port of Spain, with a marriage proposal right on stage yesterday.

The gates of the Socadrome were opened at 8 a.m., but the crowds did not come out until after lunch and later in the afternoon when it was cooler.

Big band Bliss was the first to cross the stage just after 10 a.m.

On one of the trucks was DJ Marcus Williams, who made his way on the stage as the truck DJ said there was a “special announcement” for “Shelly”.

Williams got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend, Shelly Jurawan, who was dressed in a frontline Bliss costume with yellow and orange feathers. Playing in the background was Patrice Roberts’ “Anxiety” as Shelly said, “Yes.”

Williams later explained that Roberts’ song was Shelly’s favourite, and he and his friends customised it to make it special for their momentous occasion.

Williams said love bloomed after the two met on the Carnival stage six years ago, and today, as Ash Wednesday is Valentine’s Day, he felt the timing was right to propose.

Bliss’s theme was Mystique and its presentation of 14 sections brought to life creatures of enchantment, including fairies, pixies, exotic birds and butterflies, to the streets with titles such Lillybelle, Navi, Raven and Aurora.

It took almost two hours for the sections to cross the stage as masqueraders paraded and danced to “DNA” and Bunji Garlin’s “Carnival Contract”.

While Teja’s song received heavy play during the morning period, Bunji’s “Carnival Contract” took over as the preferred choice of other big bands such as Tribe.

Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell enjoyed the Carnival activities at the Socadrome. He played with Bliss and described the mas as “total euphoria”.

He spoke of the economic benefits of Carnival to T&T, as he noted there were increased numbers of visitors and greater airlift ­capacity.

The numbers are not yet tabulated but the data will be shared in the coming days, he said.

As for the Road March favourite, Mitchell said his pick was Teja’s “DNA”, which he noted was used in the ministry’s marketing campaign.

“While we experience the beautiful explosion of colours, the most important colour combination today is the red, white and black. And with just one day before St Valentine’s Day, today is a day when we renew our love for our country, notwithstanding any of the challenges we might encounter,” he told the Express.

Asked about safety and security, the minister said masqueraders were very much at home in the environment, and the security services’ presence was seen and felt throughout the route.

Just before noon, big band Tribe crossed the stage with high energy matching the midday sun.

The band’s presentation, Rainforest, comprised 15 sections. Soca star Machel Montano came off one of the trucks and took a jump-up on the stage.

Montano copped the Calypso Monarch title at the Dimanche Gras on Sunday with his song “Soul of Calypso”.

The third band to cross the at the Socadrome stage just before 2 p.m. was Rogue, with Vogue 2024.

There were striking and flamboyant displays of colours with sections such as Chic, Donatella, Ford and Gala.

Just before 4 p.m., the band Paparazzi took to the stage with Ihoka.

The band’s sections paid homage to the indigenous people and their folklore, with titles such as Sibikit, Masikuru and Nepuyo.

In the evening, spectators were treated to a free concert showcasing the talents of Teja himself, who belted out his hit and other songs, followed by Viking Ding Dong (Andre Houlder) with his hit “Drink and Party”. Farmer Nappy (Darryl Henry) sang popular hits including “Hookin Meh”, which got spectators to their feet. And soca artiste Olatunji Yearwood also sang his top tunes.