Tropical storm, Hermine, stayed out to sea and its winds and showers never became a threat, as some had feared, to the annual on Eastern Parkway last Monday.
However, it was two early morning shootings – at J’ouvert – as reported by the Associated Press – that cast a damper on the annual carnival-type festivities which started late, attracted a smaller crowd than previous years, and included a very large number of groups representing political, community, and other service clubs and organizations.
Still, the 2016 parade did not lack spirit or spectator interest. It was a sea of colour and a tapestry of Caribbean music, a business opportunity for the thousands of entrepreneurs on the sidewalks and a spectacle for the millions who stood patiently behind the security rails, to watch it.
For the second successive year, a Barbadian was one of the grand marshals. Indeed, it was Tony Marshall – this island’s Ambassador to the United Nations – who assisted Andrew Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, with the cutting of the ribbon to officially start the parade.
As usual, Barbados – including the Golden Jubilee of Independence anniversary being observed this year – was celebrated with flags, music, 50th anniversary tee shirts, individual designed outfits, food stalls, and the Bajan Paradise truck and band.
Ultimately, the ‘selfie picture’ was the king and queen of the parade.