The newly laid track at the National Stadium was transformed into a spectacle of colour for about five and a half hours today when 25 bands paraded during Grand Kadooment as Crop-Over 2013 drew to a close.
There was an explosion of vibrant hues of every colour in the spectrum as band designers and bandleaders tried to outdo each other with their creativity to win the judges’ favour in several categories which included Most Colourful Large Band and Most Colourful Small Band, Party Band of the Year, Best Festival Designer, Community Costume Band, Bridgetown World Heritage Award, Flag Person, Best Presentation, Best Individual Male/Female, Barbados Manufacturers Association Award, and HIV/AIDS Award.
Some bands opted not to be judged such as Walk Holy, Blue Box Cart, Fantasy, and Zulu International.
Leaving the starting point at Warrens after 8 a.m., the bands made their way to the stadium via Green Hill before turning left onto Codrington Hill and then right by the Lumber Company and using the Jaycees gate to make their way into the arena.
On the road, the bands could compete for George Dear Award (Best Band on the Road) and those from Dominica and Martinique, who brought their brand of revellery, had a chance to win a trophy from being the Best Overseas Band.
One of the most noticeable aspects of the bands was the small numbers.
Some of the bandleaders told Barbados TODAY that they did not get the numbers they were aiming for.
Blaze’s Earl Gill said he fell short by 100 revellers but as long as his 200 members were happy so was he.
“There were no complaints, everybody’s good. I just want all my revellers to enjoy themselves and I good. I want it to be one big party and I good. This is six years for Blaze and for next year, we’re doing something local again,” he said.
The theme of his band, which was based at Tyrol Cot, was History’s Page.
Rodney Powers of Dragon Fly Mass Band who brought Mythology, had 125 out of his intended 300 revellers. He said his costumes were sold and a look at some of the larger bands would show that they too did not get the numbers they registered.
Betty West’s Source of Renewable Energy attracted 350 people and she said that coming towards Kadooment Day she sold her costumes at cost price in order to get that number, while Oouraje’s bandleader Trevor Chase reiterated that Foreday Mornin’ needed greater regulation.
“I had about 250. I was going for a big band but I worked with what I had. Foreday Mornin’ is what happened. It has really impacted on what happened this year and I think they should put a cap on some of the numbers and don’t allow 1,500 in one band because it would be unfair to those who want to do a community ’cause they suffer too,” he said.
The bandleader added that as long as he can attract sponsors, get 250 revellers, and do a presentation of a certain standard, he was happy with that.
In the stands, the spectators were sparse as well, no where near the numbers of previous years which was in contrast to the hundreds lining the route.
After passing the judges the revellers continued along the track, made their way onto the cycling track and exited through the Nova Scotia gate bound for Waterford to continue their journey to Spring Garden Highway via Station Hill, Eastmond Corner, Bank Hall, Eagle Hall, Black Rock Main Road, and Brighton Corner.
When the last band, Mas Mania paraded before the judges around 2:45 in the afternoon, there was no let up to the sweltering heat and the few dark clouds floated across the sky without bursting ensuring that sno-cone vendors did brisk sales. (DS)