From the wee toddlers to the excited teenagers enthusiastically buzzed around the National Stadium for the annual Junior Kadooment jump last Saturday.
The kiddies partied and paraded, proudly showing off their colourful costumes and creative makeup. It was a wonderland for the children who portrayed various mystical creatures and Barbadian characters.
As the kiddies whizzed to and fro on the outskirts of the stadium, their parents were caught up in the excitement of the mas as well.
Joining the masquerade and revelry was a family tradition for Deonne Gittens. Her two daughters, 13-year-old Mekael Doughty and two-year-old Morgan Gittens, were following in the footsteps of their mother and grandmother, jumping with Xante.
“As a child, I was jumping every single year . . . . I had a ball, so it’s their time now too,” she explained. “Kadooment is only once every year so [Junior Kadooment] is for them to enjoy themselves and have a good time.”
Gittens’ love for the Crop Over festival was beyond just the jump-up. It extended to what she described as “the togetherness and good, clean fun”.
Already a veteran masquerader, her daughter Mekael said she hoped this would be her last year in the kiddies jump as she wanted to join the adults in 2018.
The 13-year-old expressed her love for the Crop Over season, telling Bajan Vibes that she loved “the colourful costumes and I just like having fun with my friends”.
After spending years watching others party and enjoy themselves on the road, Alyssa Hall finally joined the festivities this year. Living in the United States with her Barbadian-born mother, the 14-year-old visited the island every year during summer, since the age of two. But after moving to Barbados last year, she finally got her wish to jump.
“I’m finally able to dress up and have fun and dance with everybody,” said the elated Alleyne Secondary School student. “I always loved to see how happy everybody was together.”
Aaliyah Morgan was another masquerader who just couldn’t wait to get on the stadium track. Standing by Gwyneth Squires’ by Kites at the Garrison tent, the 13-year-old was already energetically dancing and singing Mavis Stiffy with a group of her friends. They were already in the mood for revelry, while some of the little ones were getting restless and agitated by the long wait.
The only thing holding Morgan back was her costume.
“I like my costume, but I don’t like the back because when you go on the road and you’re ready to dance you can’t dance properly,” she said.
Meanwhile, vendor Andrea Gooding was reaping the benefits of the day’s activities.
Selling a variety of toys for the little ones to carry on stage, Gooding however noted that this year’s participation seemed a bit lacklustre.
“The attendance looks kind of poor . . . . It is not as well supported this year as far as I can see. Up to last year it was really well attended . . . . This year, I see a decrease in the number of bands and the participation of children,” she observed.
Gooding was also of the view that the event needed to be better organized, as some children and their parents were seen wandering in the vacant lot by the netball courts trying to find their bands.
“There is a still a little too much confusion with the settlement of the bands and the children. There are children who were here from since 7 a.m. and the parents [didn’t] know where to assemble. There needs to be a little more organization with the settlement of the bands.”