Arima Borough Day Celebrations 2006 Reporters
Event Date: August 12, 2006
Posted: August 15, 2006

The Arima Borough Fest took place on Saturday 12th August, 2006, in honour of the district being granted the status of Royal Borough in 1888 by Queen Victoria, 118 years ago.

Arima, the Amerindian word meaning "water", was originally founded in 1757 by Capuchin Friars as a mission to convert the aboriginal Amerindian population to Christianity. Arima petitioned Queen Victoria for municipal status as part of her Golden Jubilee in 1887. This was granted the following year, and Arima became a Royal Borough on August 1, 1888.

The borough of Arima is the fourth largest town in Trinidad and Tobago and is situated 26 kilometers east of Port of Spain, the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago.

The celebrations commenced at about 3pm with a procession of traditional Carnival characters put on by the National Carnival Commission Regional Carnival Committee. The masqueraders, the music trucks and other participants of the procession assembled at the Arima Velodrome before making their journey.

Some of the Mas characters common to Trinidad and Tobago Carinival and that were present at the celebrations included the Red Guarahoons, the Indians, Fancy Sailors, Belle Dancers, Gorillas, Moko Jumbies, Dame Lorraines, Jab Jabs, Baby Dolls and other popular characters.

The masqueraders, who made it their duty to entertain the spectators that lined the streets, were accompanied by the "Caribbean Vibes" Engine Room Ryhthm Section which provided the energy for their timely movements. Although the procession was small, it was enjoyed by the crowd present and ended in front of the judges on Hollis Avenue.

During the festivities, vendors were out in their numbers doing their brisk trade in delicacies that people have been quite familiar with in events such as these. Roast corn, corn soup, roti, soft drinks and cotton candy were just some of the items on sale.

What was particularly entertaining to the crowd during the daylight session was the stick fighting and the jab jab duels which drew many to witness the excitement. Other activities included the historical re-enactment by the Carib community, and the Pan on the Move segment.

The small crowd of hundreds grew to thousands by nightfall to take in the steelband music. The pan competition, which had begun after 7pm, had eight bands competing for first prize. They were:
  • The Graduates playing "Feeling to Wine on Something" by Super Blue
  • The Harlem Syncopators with "Bouncing" by Super Blue and "When Will I See You Again" by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff
  • Woodbrook Modernairs with "Salvation" by Super Blue and "Maria Osha" by Andre Tanker
  • Trinidad East Side Symphony with "Free Up" by Tambu and "So Sick" by Neyo
  • Nu Pioneers Pan Groove with "Get Something and Wave" by Super Blue and "I Canít Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles
  • Angostura Woodbrook Playboyz with "Poom-Poom" by Super Blue and "Dancing Queen" by ABBA
  • Marsicans with "Swing" by SuperBlue and "For Once in My Life" by Stevie Wonder
  • Magic Noters with "Rebirth" and "Culture" by Tambu
It was quite clear that all present enjoyed the production as the celebrations did not end until the wee hours of the morning. Arima, a town steeped in culture, was truly appreciated by members of the town and by visitors taking part in the celebrations.

Arima Borough Day 2006 in pictures:

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