KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent: – Carnival lovers here danced on the street into Monday night, the penultimate day of Vincy Mas 2009, dubbed the “hottest carnival” in the Caribbean.
T-shirt bands, supported by sponsors and representing several themes, paraded the street to the loud sound of soca music.
One band advertised a “Return to Paradise” while another promised a “Global Carnival Link”. Some t-shirts had Obama themes while others commented on the stimulus package printed on them .
Revelers gyrated, spontaneously changing dance partners, moving their waists and hips in ways that challenged the natural range of motions of that part of the body.
They were of all ages and body types: from toddler to senior citizens and from the slim to those who had long gone pass having a few vanity pounds.
They represented every social strata and geographic location in St. Vincent. Visitors to the country also joining in the festivities.
The street party, veritable soca conga lines, snaked its way through the city. It drew momentum from artistes, disc jockeys and radio personalities who blurted out their soca instruction from atop truck retrofitted for the sole purpose of providing music.
Registered members of the t-shirt band frequented the mobile watering holes, iceboxes stocked with drinks atop trucks.
Media practitioners and visitors worked feverishly to document the closing chapters of the Caribbean’s “premier
Point Fortin Iron Giants, a rhythm section from Trinidad, demonstrated the wide range of notes that skillful hands can ellicit from ordinary pieces of metal and goat skin drums.
Street-side vendors peddled everything from food and drinks to clothing. A group of overseas volunteers waved a sign indicating the location of their fund-raising stall and the price of the goodies .
Member of the Rapid Response Unit, commonly called the “Black Squad”, Special Services Unit officers and other sections of the local constabulary kept a watchful eye on revelers to quell any violent outbreaks.
A well-placed source told I Witness-News that Black Squad officers had to draw their arms to break up a seemingly gang-related squabble that broke out during the soca monarch competition Saturday night after one artiste was disqualified.
On Tuesday, the final day of Vincy Mas 2009, costume bands will cross the stage at “Carnival City” Victoria Park during Mardi Gras. There will be one judging there before the bands parade through Kingstown for a series of assessments in the Band of the Year competition.
See more photos from Monday’s street party here.