It was an explosion of colour as the bands participating in this year’s Grand Kadooment came down the Eagle Hall route with thousands of revellers, some jumping, some chipping, others dancing to the many soca tunes of the 2019 season.
At the location it started with sunny skies and sweltering heat as spectators lined both sides of the road, some in balconies, others on rooftops, some even perched precariously on guard walls, including children, taking up every vantage point in order to get an unobstructed view of the revellery.
Observers complained about the heat but none budged from their spots to seek better shelter in cooler locations.
“That sun hot boy,” one woman who was sitting on the sidewalk under her umbrella complained.
However, about 1:20 p.m. dark clouds began rolling in and some five minutes later the rains came down and many umbrellas went up adding yet another level of colour to the already vibrant atmosphere. That rain seemed to give revellers a boost of energy to head down the road. It also gave an umbrella vendor an extra pep in his steps as he hurriedly went from one customer to another selling his product.
“All I can say is business is going good. Customers want umbrellas to shelter from the sun and the rain so can’t complain,” the vendor, who declined to give his name, told Barbados TODAY.
Vendors selling water and sno-cones were also in demand throughout.
Bystanders also took the opportunity to get pictures with revellers and that was most apparent at that location when the Trevor Chase’s Ooutrage Band came through with its theme The Fish and Dragon Festival. As the bandleader introduced his different sections several persons from the Asian community came forward with their phones and cameras to get selfies.
One member of the band, sports journalist Martin Paris, told Barbados TODAY that he was having a grand time.
“It’s beautiful and unspoilt but I don’t know what is the hurry that the marshalls trying to get us to sprint down the road rather than let us masquerade and present the costumes . . . but a grand time,” he said.
Young artiste Walkes also came down the route accompanied by his father Richard and brother Jerome.
Walkes made it through the finals of this year’s Bashment Soca with the tune I Waan Meet Meat. He also had a tune called Champions of Colour which got much airplay.
“It was a great feeling this year, the best year ever for me. I unexpectedly got in the final, it just showed me that I could go further as an artiste, I can put in more work, get more dedicated, more focus and come again next year,” he said.
Overall Walkes explained that he had a great 2019 Crop Over festival.
“Very great, I can’t even walk two minutes good, everybody wants a picture, they showing love and it’s really, really good vibes all the time. It’s been a great season for sure, everywhere you go is love. 2020 is more vibes, pure fire coming from Walkes again,” he promised.
As expected among those participating along with the Barbadian revellers were international and regional visitors.
“I am enjoying it to the fullest, Barbados is the best!” St Lucian Craig Gaspard who is jumping in his fourth successive Crop Over told Barbados TODAY adding that his time here was “even better than the last”.
As he danced away with a friend into the sea of costumes, a female passed by waving the Bahamian flag shouting “Bahamas to the world” as colourful umbrellas popped up yet again, as the rain came down once more dousing the unperturbed revellers and spectators.