This year's Junior Parade of the Bands on Saturday got off to a slow start.
At around 9.30 am, more than two hours after the parade's official starting time of 7 am, a handful of bands were crossing the South Quay stage on their way to the Queen's Park Savannah.
When Sunday Newsday spoke to an NCC official at the savannah stage at 10.30 am, the official estimated a little over 15 bands had made their way across the stage at that time.
Commissioner on the National Carnival Commission (NCC) parade of the band committee, Rosalind Gabriel, when contacted for comment said she did not think there was a slow start as she accompanied the first band which arrived on the Savannah stage at 9 am.
"I was told that when the first band left (the savannah stage) there were 12 bands following us.
"I guess you can account for the lag with bands not ready to move off (the stage)," said Gabriel.
There was also a visibly low spectator turnout at the savannah's Grand Stand, the South Quay stands and along the parade's Frederick Street route. While there was an increase in spectators along Frederick Street as the day progressed, Gabriel said the NCC made efforts to fill the Grand Stand.
Gabriel said the NCC made it free for the public to access the Grand Stand and witness the parade. She said the NCC also continued a programme from last year where students from schools across the country were provided free transport to witness the day's parade at the savannah.
Gabriel said approximately 400 students from 12 schools were provided transport to this year's parade.
This year 118 bands registered to participate in the junior parade. Costume themes of the bands included elements of nature, folk characters and traditional characters.
Asked her feelings about this year's creative presentations, Gabriel said, "We saw some very beautiful and creative bands. We see a lot of the creativity in the junior Carnival and it's gratifying to me to see some of the bands really excelling."
Despite the parade's slow start, it picked up shortly after midday when the number of bands heading to the savannah stage increased. This late movement of bands, however, pushed the parade beyond it's official 3 pm end time.
After 2 pm, bands including three large bands were crossing the savannah stage and at expected 3 pm end time, there were still bands crossing the stage. The junior parade ends early on Carnival Saturday to prepare the savannah for Panorama finals, later on, that day.
While the NCC's Facebook page event for the parade had a 3 pm end time, Gabriel indicated that they were working with a deadline of 4 pm. The last band crossed the stage shortly before 4 pm.
With all eyes on this year's Road March contest, frontrunner songs Stage Gone Bad (Iwer George and Kees Dieffenthaller) and Conch Shell (Machel Montano, Skinny Fabulous and George) battled it out on the savannah stage.
Stage Gone Bad took the lead as it was the preferred song for most bands crossing the stage.
Groovy songs were mostly played along the parade route as the junior revellers 'chipped' to selections from Patrice Roberts' (Carry On/Is We), Shal Marshall's (Bun Up) and Montano's (Work Hard), to name a few.