THE refrain appeared to be the same – Soca Kingdom! Wine and fling it up! Wine and fling it up! Bands which stormed across the Queen’s Park Savannah Stage yesterday all seemed to want the same thing, Machel Montano’s Soca Kingdom featuring Austin “SuperBlue” Lyons. Although Neil “Iwer” George’s Savannah appeared to be trailing relatively close, masqueraders yesterday seemed intent on breaking through the Soca Kingdom’s gates.
As the oil and paint of J’Ouvert 2018 slid away, the savannah, the pin point of mas in Carnival, became the stomping ground for the Nostalgia parade which merged with the Traditional Mas Parade. The Traditional Mas parade is also called the ‘D’ Real Mas’. A National Carnival Commission (NCC) official told Newsday that this was the best move the commission made since the Nostalgia parade usually had only about six bands moving from Piccadilly Greens to Adam Smith square for judging. This usually incurred a cost of trucks, music, security and judging among others. This, the official said, saved the commission money by hosting the Nostalgia parade on Carnival Monday. Although the audience at the Grand and North Stands appeared sparse, they were treated to traditional characters and acts of varying kinds. The Nostalgia parade began shortly after 9 am with well-known pierrot grande Felix Edinborough leading the charge. His opening precipitated a wave of dame Lorraines, bats, authentic Indians, moko jumbies, burrokeets among others. Over 53 traditional groups and individuals registered to be a part of the parade. While Soca Kingdom was the domain of the larger bands, many of the traditional bands and characters requested Kes’ popular Hello.
D’ Tunapuna Vibrations performed for the small audience as the parade also had rhythm sections.
With panels of judges for the large, medium and small, mini and individual male and female, further dissected into conventional and traditional, the Nostalgia parade wrapped up at about 1 pm.
The first band to appear in the second half was small band Masters of the Art presented by the Belmont Exotic Stylish Sailors.
The first large band to cross the stage was Passion presenting Pandora: The Secret Within. The masqueraders jumped and wined to a combination of Soca Kingdom and George’s Savannah.
Passion was followed by the Lost Tribe and Tribe Carnival in the large band category.
Hat-trick medium band winner K2K followed on Tribe Carnival’s heels with them stopping mid-point on stage to re-present their theme of We Stand United.
K2K Alliance and partners, led by sisters Kathy and Karen Norman, was, at the point of writing, the only band to play Patrice Roberts’ popular road march contender Sweet Fuh Days as it crossed the stage. Today will tell who becomes the king or queen of the road.