KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent:- SVG Players International is the Band of the Year here for the fourth consecutive year.
The mas camp amassed 563 points and defeated 11 other bands with its production “Expo Zargoza” during Mardi Gras.
With the release of the results of that and the Soca Monarch competition on Wednesday, the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) brought the curtains down on all competitions for Vincy Mas 2009.
Shertz ‘Problem Child’ James’ Road March winning “Mad House” prevented Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle’s from expanding his soca realm.
Skinny Fabulous fought off tough competition from 19 hopefuls, including six-time Soca Monarch Delroy ‘Fireman’ Hooper, to retain his title at the National Soca Monarch show on Saturday.
Skinny Fabulous’ “Beast Let Go” placed second in the Road March competition while Ramon ‘Friktion’ Mc Dowald was third with his song “Yo Woman Butting Me”.
Winners in the various categories of the competition will collect their earning during a prize-giving ceremony later this month.
Vincy Mas 2009 was staged amid the global economic crisis and an announcement by Minister of Health Dr. Douglas Slater, on the eve of the four-day weekend when the major shows are held, that the country had registered its first case of swine flu.
Swine flu became a theme during J’ouvert on Monday with revellers wearing dust mask, surgical mask, and industrial respirators during the early morning celebrations when revellers dressed in funny costumes, as commentaries on current affairs.
Some J’ouvert goers wore t-shirts that were printed with a drawing of a sneezing pig and the words “swine flu” in large letters. One young lady was dressed in a modified student nurse uniform and a dust mask. The presentation “Swine Flu in Tongs”, won one of the individual prizes in the j’ouvert competition. That afternoon, carnival goers returned to the street for a t-shirt party, dubbed Monday Jam. (Watch Video)
The Ministry of Health said on Wednesday said that the country had not registered any additional cases of swine flu.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. St. Clair Thomas said the large gatherings at Vincy Mas and the influx of visitors to the country for the festival, especially from cities in North America where the virus is prevalent, was conducive to the spread of any virus.
He detailed an elaborate plan that the Ministry of Health had in place to deal with a swine flu epidemic here.
Commissioner of Police Keith Miller on Wednesday praised Vincentians saying that there were no major incidences of crime during the carnival festivities.
He said that the police was able to implement their security plan and were considering similar modus operandi for future events, such as Vincy Mas.
Police presence, especially officers from the Rapid Response Unit, commonly called the “Black Squad”, was obvious but non-intrusive in Kingstown during the festival.
Police also stopped and searched vehicles and person entering the city for illicit weapons and drugs.
Vincentians and visitors alike were generally pleased with the festival although some thought that the global economic downturn had negatively affected the celebrations.
“It is different [in that] you don’t have people jumping in the queues when you line up in the street. Barbados is more
hype and drunk … this is more controlled and cool and calm,” said Barbadian Patricia Forde who was witnessing Vincy Mas for the first time.
“Carnival for me, I think, is kind of like dying… We are accustomed to seeing much more people on the road,” said Cherly Allen who, along with her husband Astin, has been coming to Vincy Mas for the past eight years.
“I have not seen much of the crowd, I don’t know if it is because of the turn down of the economy, but in previous years you will see a lot more people coming out to the festival. This year the band is okay but the spectators, I don’t know where they are,” Mr. Allen said.
Ramon De Freitas, a Vincentian studying and working in Florida, who has returned for Vincy Mas six times since 2001, thought the festival would have been bigger and better.
He said in previous years there were large crowds at Heritage Square from night until morning.
He was however very pleased with the soca monarch show, saying that the performances were on point and were better than even those in Trinidad.
Chief Executive Officer of the CDC Ashford Wood told I-Witness News last week that the global economic downturn had affected the Vincy Mas shows that had been held before last weekend, when the major shows were held.
Band of the Year:
SVG Players International – “Expo Zaragoza” (563 points)
Blondie Bird and Friends – “Cuisine” (547 point)
Dragons – “Razzle Dazzle: Through the eyes of a Dragon” (532)
Nelson Bloc – “Future Shock” (530)
Mirage Production – “Show Time” (514)
Atiba Lockhart “Wild Meat Cook-up” – (Blondie Bird and Friends)
Kevin Dickson “Blood Diamond” (SVG Players International)
Gordon “Taya” Boucher “Last Emperor of the Aztec Empire” (Blondie Bird and Friends)
Jenilee Glasgow “St. Vincent My Homeland” (SVG Players International)
Simone Richardson “Sorrel” (Blondie Bird and friends)
Paulette Culzac “Beautiful Butterfly” (Dragons)
Section of the Bands
SVG Players International
Blondie Bird and Friends
1st place – Bridgette “Joy C” Creese
2nd place – Alvin ‘Zion I’ Dennie
3rd Place – Carlos ‘Rejector’ Providence
Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle — “The Beast Let Go”
Delroy ‘Fireman’ Hooper – “Rags Invasion”
Shertz ‘Problem Child’ James – “Mad House”
Montgomery ‘Demus’ Laborde – “Rum Junkie”
1st Runner up Miss Antigua and Barbuda – Derri-Ann Browne
2nd Runner up Miss St. Kitts and Nevis – Samantha Boone
Best Swimwear Miss St. Lucia – Cathy Daniel
Best Talent Miss Grenada – Asheida Charles
Best Evening Wear Miss Antigua and Barbuda – Derri-Ann Browne
Best Interview Miss Grenada – Asheida Charles
Miss Photogenic Miss St. Lucia – Cathy Daniel
Miss Congeniality Miss St. Lucia – Cathy Daniel
Most Community-Spirited Miss Antigua and Barbuda – Derri-Ann Browne