Soca in the City

THE Corporate Area streets became a kaleidoscope of colour on Sunday as thousands of costumed revellers celebrated the final event on Jamaica’s annual carnival calendar — the road march.

The gyrating ‘sea of colour’ with accompanying music moved through sections of the city much to delight of onlookers, who lined the side walks to witness the spectacle, capture the memories on cellphones, or to even join in on the festivities.

This year was unprecedented as a total of four bands took to the street – Xaymaca, Xodus, Byron Lee’s Jamaica Carnival, and Bacchanal Jamaica.

Michael Ammar Jr, director of Bacchanal Jamaica, said he was “pleasantly surprised” with the turnout.

“We’re almost as big as we were last year. The crowd is fantastic, the vibe is fantastic. The competition is good as it made us lift our game. We have all the top deejays, we have KES. I don’t think you could want better,” Ammar Jr told Jamaica Observer yesterday.

During the procession, KES the band, with its lead singer Kees Dieffenthaller, provided its usual high-energy brand of entertainment. KES did favourites including Wotless, Fallin, Million and was in the middle of the crowd for People.

Ammar Jr said nearly half of his revellers were from outside the island.

“It is absolutely shocking. We have a least 50 per cent overseas people in the band, or maybe even 55 per cent. I’ve spoken to several of them and they say Jamaica carnival is a great value and Bacchanal is the only choice… And I agree with them,” said Ammar Jr.

First-time reveller Tanisha Scott — choreographer for Sean Paul, Drake and Rihanna — gave the Bacchanal band the thumbs up.

“I was invited by Sean Paul’s Jodi [Henriques] and I’m enjoying it; the freedom is unbelievable. Everybody is so friendly… there’s nothing but love on the road and it surely brings out our motto: Out of Many One People,” said Scott, who was born in Canada to Jamaican parents.

New Yorkers Typheny Griffiths and Patrina Gayle expressed similar sentiments.

“It’s our first time and we’ll definitely be back,” said Griffiths.

This year, Bacchanal’s road march started in Liguanea then went down Hope Road, onto Lady Musgrave Avenue, before traversing Trafalgar Road. The party then moved to Waterloo Road, West King’s House Road, down Constant Spring Road, and culminated in New Kingston at the LIME Golf Academy.



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