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While the debate on whether T-Shirt Mas’ detracts or adds to Antigua & Barbuda’s carnival festivities, one thing is certain, revellers would have it no other way.

OBSERVER media took to the streets on Saturday afternoon to ask onlookers and revellers alike, what their view on the event was and what was the main attraction of the parade and the response could not have been clearer.

“T-Shirt Mas’ is a necessity because not everyone can afford [traditional] mas’,” one male said as he jammed to the music. “We should make it stay and so indigenous to us that everybody should pattern us.”

The reveller, who is also calling for the Festivals Commission to pump more money into the event, added that other carnival celebrations in the region have their own unique attraction and this type of mas’ could be added to Antigua’s brand.

Another female masquerader said the event was a much-needed “warm up” to Carnival Monday and Tuesday when she and her friend would don their costumes.

“We waited so long for it and it is good to have something that will remind us of mas’ … right now I am cramping but by Monday and Tuesday I am good,” she said as she danced away from the microphone.

While these responses were a recurring factor on Saturday afternoon, they begged the question, what was the main draw for the thousands of people who flooded the streets of St John’s for the second parade of the season?

“It’s the rum and the music and the atmosphere. What do you expect?” one young lady slurred without missing a beat jumping with her friends as water and beer rained down over the parade.

The original article can be found here: https://antiguaobserver.com/revellers-say-t-shirt-mas-is-here-to-stay/

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