The verdict is still out on which was most captivating – the entertainment on stage or the beautiful spectacle of hundreds of lit candles on the lawns of Ilaro Court.
It was a family affair as young and old sat in chairs or on blankets to take in the Christmas fair. There was food on sale and free drinks for those who didn’t come stocked with their own.
From before 4 p.m. patrons were gathered outside seeking entry into the event which officially started at 5:30 p.m. And way after the start, hundreds more were outside patiently waiting to get in.
Izavybe with Trumpet Boy Entertainment got things off to a festive start as they made their way around the grounds bellowing the sweet sounds of Christmas carols.
By dusk everyone had candles in hand and lit them creating an eye-catching display at the Prime Minister’s official residence.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who is not in the island, was deputised by acting Prime Minister George Payne who welcomed patrons to Ilaro Court and wished them all the best for the Yuletide season.
It was a solid package of entertainment with the youngest 2019 Junior Monarch Mighty Bit Bit giving a riveting rendition of Give Love on Christmas Day.
He was followed by Ascending Stars Dance/Sing Group who danced the night away to Run Rudolph and Someday at Christmas.
Kristojay Paul was moving in her soulful delivery of the Christmas classic Oh Holy Night.
The mood changed a bit when Powerhouse Studio Dance Group performed You’re A Mean One Mr Grinch accompanied by a grinch. They also did Frozen.
Biggie Irie and Nathalee Burke’s duo of Little Drummer Boy never gets old. With the Caribbean flavour of a dancehall chat, their version of that song is timeless.
Kellie Cadogan was in fine voice backed by the East Point Centre. They sang Give and The True Meaning.
The Most Honourable Dr Anthony Gabby Carter belted out an enthralling rendition of Mary’s Boy Child while playing guitar.
The island’s leading gospel band Promise was awesome. Lead vocals Sheldon Hope was in fine voice. He was ably supported vocally by Andrea Chase and Tavio Drakes. They did May Christmas Bring You Happiness, God Bless the Children, The Greatest Gift of All and It’s Christmas Time.
The duet named Rishan was good too. They took the audience back to the 50s for two Christmas classics – Brenda Lee’s 1958 hit song Rockin Around the Christmas Tree and the 1951 hit Baby It’s Cold Outside.
The mother and daughter duo Kareen Clarke and Trinity Clarke were flawless in their rendition of Celine Deon and Andrea Bocelli’s The Prayer. Thirteen-year-old Trinity delivered a powerful solo rendition of Mariah Carey’s 1994 hit Jesus Born on This Day.
The band Sundown Superhero kept things rocking with their heavy metal versions of many Christmas favourites.
During the entertainment, chief executive officer of First Citizens Bank Carole Eleuthere-JnMarie briefly addressed the crowd and reaffirmed their commitment to the event which they have sponsored for the past five years. She too wished everyone a happy and prosperous season.
The grand finale saw all the acts coming back on stage for a sing-a-long session with the audience. Songs included: Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, The First Noel, Ding Dong Merrily on High, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Joy to the World, Jingle Bells, and We Wish You A Merry Christmas. (IMC)