“Carriacou and Petite Martinique Carnival was a very good success in terms of participation and support from the government, stakeholders and sponsors from the business community,” stated chairman of the Carnival committee, Princess John.
She is pleased with the patronage to the various events, noting “maximum turnout,” with the exception of the Dimanche Gras that saw fewer patrons.
“There [were] no accidents or incidents, kudos to the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) for ensuring everything went smoothly,” she told The Grenadian Voice.
Last weekend’s activities saw scores of citizens and visitors in Carriacou for the annual festival, which kicked off last Thursday night with the 2023 pageant won by 17-year-old Brianna Primus.
Primus, who represented Six Roads, also won best talent and best interview. She is now looking forward to her participation in Ms Aquaval and the national queen show, both in August.
The TAMCC student, who is pursuing an Associate Degree in Business Studies at the Six Roads campus in Carriacou, has dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.
First runner up was K’Nisha Cudjoe representing BBH and second runner up was Renniah Alexander representing L’Esterre.
As for the Soca, Groovy and Calypso competitions held over last Friday to Sunday, Gavin “Mozo” Moses, Matthew “Gold’N” Thomas and Zerina “Lady B” Bedeau all retained their titles, respectively.
Brendon “Killa B” McKie came in second in the Soca competition, followed by Josh “Silver Bullet” Phillip.
In the Groovy, Clint “Super flying flint” came in second, followed by Lady B.
The Calypso competition saw Killa B taking second place, followed by Anderson “Leftist” Matheson.
Mozo told The Grenadian Voice that retaining his title “was like a job paid off.”
Summarising his winning selection “God’s Eye,” the 2023 Soca Monarch explained that being the defending monarch, he foresees all the “plots and plans before it happens, seeing them through God’s eye.”
Gold’N told this newspaper that he is “ecstatic” to have secured his sixth Groovy crown, noting that “moments like this is rear and has to be cherished.” He explained that this is his eighth time in competition; the first time he placed fourth, placed second the second time and took the crown thereafter.
The 2023 Groovy Monarch shared that “In me Head” was written since in 2017 but it “was one to cherish and properly develop,” and so the musical arrangement had input from personnel within the region. He explained that the song speaks to the “things we were longing for, could not have, but finally got the opportunity to act out what’s in your head freely; the longing for mas, to express yourself.”
Lady B is “contented” to have secured a second Calypso crown after being in competition since 2016.
“Film That” was written by the reigning Calypso monarch from mainland Grenada Finley “Scholar” Jeffrey, who has won the crown 10 times. The song speaks to “a trend now plaguing society where everything is filmed and shared on social media; but sometimes what’s filmed is not useful and has a negative impact socially, economically and politically.”
Consequently, Lady B said the song “encourages people to film and share positive messages.”
On Monday morning, revelers graced the streets of Hillsborough to what chairman John described as “one of the largest J’ouverts I have ever seen, persons were on the streets since 4am to 11am.” Later that day saw the fancy mas parade of the bands, culminating with the Monday night mas.
The carnival culminated on Tuesday with more fancy mas parade and Shakespeare mas held throughout villages and concluding in the town of Hillsborough.
Chairman John commended Rainbow City Mas Promoters, a band from Grenville, for their dedicated participation. She noted that while the band doesn’t compete, this is the 11th year it is participating in Kayak Mas. This year’s portrayal was “A tribute to Peter Bain,” founder, who passed away in 2021.
The song “Vibes So Nice,” is the 2023 Road March. It was sung by 11-year-old Nathan “Teknikal” Dick, the winner of the 2023 Junior Soca Monarch competition.
Sharing their thoughts on this year’s Carnival, Mozo welcomed the support from the mainland and neighbouring Grenadine islands, citing that there could have been more activities to engage visitors.
Gold’n thought it was “a success with potential to grow bigger.” Even though private promoters held activities prior and during the Carnival, Gold’N cites the need for “more events leading up to Carnival to impact the outcome of the product.”
In addition, he stressed that “time management has to be implemented more strictly regarding the start and ending time of events, for smooth transition into other events and to have a good turn out so persons would not be too tired to attend.”
Lady B views the return of the Carnival after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic as “exceptional, looking forwards to a bigger, better season next year.”
After the payment of all outstanding prizes, the chairman anticipates that the committee can conduct a post mortem as early as next week.
From preliminary observation, she shared that the committee will consider putting on the Ole Mas as a separate show next year as the people couldn’t get space through the J’ouvert crowd to display their portrayals.
Thanking homeowners for sharing their private homes to accommodate visitors after hotels and guest houses were fully booked, John said plans will be made for more accommodation. She pointed out that the influx of visitors saw many using their private vehicles and tents as accommodation in open spaces.
Kayak Mas was held under the theme: Reminiscing on the past, savouring our moment, creating endless memories of Kayak mas.”