by Kareem Smith
The move by National Cultural Foundation (NCF) officials to abandon the National Stadium as the place for judging the dozens of bands on the road for this year’s Grand Kadooment put a bit of a damper on the annual parade for some revellers.
Revellers nevertheless made the most of every opportunity to show off their best and brightest designs as they crossed the stage in front of judges along Stadium Road outside the National Botanical Gardens.
Some revellers and bandleaders told Barbados TODAY they were satisfied with the new format, which saw seven bands departing Warrens and the others from the National Botanical Gardens as they made their way to the newly renamed – The Mighty Grynner Highway.
They were all judged on a small stretch of the Stadium Road but could not gauge the excitement or disappointment from Barbadians because there was no audience.
In years gone by, dozens of citizens would flock to the National Stadium to watch the parade and the bands passing by, but this year, it was only the bands, judges and commentators resulting in some stakeholders expressing disappointment with the change.
Notable bands included Trevor Chase’ s Ooutrage band, which continues to attract more traditional revellers. His band featured numerous characters from the animal kingdom including the Lion Fish and the Crimson Dragon. Other traditional bands, which maintained a level of consistency, included the Betty West band and carnival icon, Gwyneth Squires’ band.
Numerous others, including Krave, Khepri Kulture and premium band Aura showcased the youth and the future of Barbados’ marquee festival. The revellers in that band were considerably more liberal with their partying as they paraded across the stage.
Several notable public figures also graced the stage including The Mighty Grynner, whose most recent achievement was the renaming of the former Spring Garden Highway in his honour. Others included Barbadian soca queen Allison Hinds and President of the National Union of Public Workers Akanni McDowall.
The sun defied weather predictions and came out in its full glory at the start of the parade, scorching revellers.
However, it did not last long as clouds started to cover the area around the stadium. Revellers appeared to thoroughly enjoy the cooling weather and subsequent rain, which followed, as they played mas all the way to The Mighty Grynner Highway.