Firebeaters' King of the Road overwhelmed its competitors with its sheer numbers during Monday Night Mas in Scarborough. Although its revellers had a grand time, the large band placed second.
Led by Akins Hislop, the band celebrated soca superstar Machel Montano's ten Road March victories, dating back to his 1997 monster hit, Big Truck. It had five sections in the colours pink and white, red, blue, black, and neon green.
The band's masqueraders, who crossed the Old Market Square judging point on Wilson Road at around 10.30 pm, danced, sang and jumped in sheer bliss as Montano's hits blared from speakers positioned on the northern end of the venue.
The revellers' high-energy display wowed spectators, many of whom captured images and videos of the presentation on their cellphones.
Astra Winchester's presentation, National Pride, placed first as it honoured personalities who placed TT on the world stage, including Janelle Penny Commissiong, the first woman of colour to win the Miss Universe pageant in 1977 and Tobago-born footballer Dwight Yorke, who enjoyed a stellar club and international career. It also acknowledged the contribution of the steelpan, the only new musical instrument created in the 20th century.
Tribute also was paid to veteran calypsonian Lord Nelson (Robert Nelson), courtesy the band, Tie Dye City.
Fitness Famalay's Soca Mimes, which preceded King of the Road, also impressed the audience with its entertaining, theatrical performance. The predominantly female band was led by Keron Alexander and placed third
The event, originally scheduled to begin at 8 pm, did not get under way until an hour later. Bands were judged on creativity, humour, authenticity, clarity of theme and overall presentation.
The early bands, Original Oil Devils' The Wealth Of Our Nation and Honey Bee Raw Devils' Zulu Devils, led by Shirl Douglas and Lisa Walls, respectively, addressed familiar concepts.
But Zane Carnival's Amamere, a tribute to the Motherland Africa also acknowledged the role of the mother as carrier of life and nurturer. The small band was led by Erlan Clarke and Sabrina Servrio.
Masqueraders in Learie Paul & Associates' Spanish Invasion, dressed in orange jerseys and straw hats, examined the Spaniards influence on Tobago's culture and way of life, moreso with the recent influx of Venezuelans to the island.
The band's presentation began with dances by a young couple, dressed as a bull fighter and Spanish woman, La Senorita.
Unlike several of the other presentations, Spanish Invasion's masqueraders were mostly mature people who chipped to the music.
Led by Lesley-Ann Benjamin, Carnival Jumbies Production's Haus of Fashion recognised Tobago's young talent in make-up artistry, fashion and art. It showcased the work of designer Dale Angus and students of Speyside High School, which has a vibrant art programme.
Other presentations which crossed Old Market Square included Bago Limers' Clowning Round With D Hoses and Beverly Thomas-Toby's medium band, Aurora – The Mystery Is In The Lights.