by Dr Lawrence A Joseph
Any show which caters for four to five thousand patrons in the open air must entail comprehensive planning and execution. The Rotary Club of Grenada must, therefore, be highly complimented for again successfully pulling off its annual Carols by Candlelight show.
The show was held at Quarantine, St George on Sunday, 2 December 2018. It is the Club’s 10th in a series. It was a show for family entertainment, to which babies are pushed in prams, and teenagers and adults mingle in an open pasture of musical entertainment interspersed with food, drinks, ice cream and other tasteful delights. The show began at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and this first segment lasted for 2 hours. The first segment was mainly for children and they were a joy to behold, some with their painted faces.
The second segment began at 6:30 in the evening soon after the sun sank in the west. It was twilight, and as you drive or walk along the roadway just before you enter the grounds, the many archways of multi-coloured lights astound you. Then there were those watery-looking lights with the waterfall effect as if you are driving or walking through a series of waterfalls: a most magical moment. There is no doubt that all who entered were well amazed. As you enter the grounds you see a multiplicity of multi-coloured lighted figures coming to life. You have entered a Christmas Wonderland with tents, buntings and thousands of patrons all around.
The main show began with well-known baritone singer Randal Robinson in his own inimitable style rendering a few Christmas songs. Other singers came and entertained the large crowd which was strewn out on chairs, on blankets and on the bare grass. It was a massive picnic at Quarantine. Unfortunately the Master of Ceremonies, Richardo Keens–Douglas did not introduce the names of singers just before they performed so it is expected that many would not have known who each singer was. However, there was Jeverson Ramirez with his velvet voice; the astounding Emily Rapier; the cool and lovely Jenny J; the attractive Tammy Baldeo with her own unique style and the powerful and melodic Rita Augustine among others. It is unfair that stars who are not so well-known were not introduced.
Other outstanding performances were done by Conception Dancers with their dance repertoire; the violin soloist; the PBC Boys’ Choir with their parang songs, and the parang singer Bindley B from Trinidad whose claim to fame is his song “Santa looking for a Wife”. Our local entertainer V’ghn also sang his international hit “Trouble in the Morning”. However, on that occasion, it was trouble in the night for V’ghn. Something was missing. V’ghn really did not “stick it”. The Heat Wave Band which backed up the singers was excellent. All in all the entertainment flowed extremely smoothly.
Occasionally the rain would fall, people would dash for covers and umbrellas would be unfurled, however the rain could not stop the show that night. Nonetheless, it is suggested that the Rotary Club give consideration as to how the show may be improved. There were outstanding bottlenecks holding up the smooth flow of traffic along the road entering the grounds. The officials may have to look again at how this area could be improved. Sifting out of vehicles to be marked with appropriate stickers may have to be done much earlier.
Another area for review concerns the appropriateness of the name of the show “Carols by Candlelight”. At the show there were a lot of carols being sung but there was no candlelight. It is interesting to note that there are other Carols by Candlelight shows in other parts of the world such as Sydney in Australia, San Diego in the USA, London in England and Bridgetown in Barbados and they all seem to feature candlelight. Perhaps the Rotary Club may want to give consideration to selling “anti-wind” candles for the next in the series. Additionally, attractive programmes for the event may be sold as memorabilia.
Carols by Candlelight seems to be the Rotary Club’s signature event each year. The event helps the club to raise much-needed funds for charitable purposes. Members of the club deserve to be highly commended for their selfless services to charity. It seems unfair though, that after the tremendous amount of preparations for the event, that it is only one night of entertainment that is being presented. Perhaps serious thought may be given to having at least 2 consecutive nights of entertainment instead. Notwithstanding, beyond any doubt, Carols by Candlelight 2018 provided a most enchanting evening for all.