Basseterre, St. Kitts, Wednesday, 26th December, 2018 (MyVueNews.com) – They came in their thousands from all parts of St. Kitts. Hundreds also arrived via ferry from sister island Nevis in the early hours of Wednesday morning, to enjoy the unique blend that makes J’ouvert in St. Kitts.
With judging points in four locations of the downtown area of Basseterre, both the J’ouvert troupes and the big bands tried to outdo each other in their respective categories of competition in an effort to secure victory and honours to be crowned winners of what is arguably the most exciting feature of the annual carnival celebrations called Sugar Mas.
This year, the Carnival Committee has instituted new guidelines for the adjudication of Road March. Today was the only day on which the top song for the road would be judged. In previous years, there were two days that included Carnival Day, when the Grand Parade takes place on New Year’s Day.
It was also disclosed that only one round of the bands would be judged, which is a departure from other years when the winning tune was decided by the amount of times a song was played within the prescribed route, between the judging period, which this year was 8:00am -10:00am.
Amongst the bands on display were Grand Masters, Small Axe Band, Sugar Band, Kollision Band and Riddim Band.
Though there were DJ Sound systems on the parade as well, these are no longer considered in the determination of Road March.
The designated points for judging were National Bank on Central Street, Development Bank on Church Street, Subway on Cayon Street and the Old Treasury Building at the junction of Fort Street and Bay Road.
In terms of the J’ouvert troupes, these included X-Treme J’ouvert-Bigga Krazy Colours, Small Axe & shiggidy Shack Shack-J’ouvert Warriors, Tek Dat Wild Cats, X-Plosion Shifting Gears, Jab Jab in SKB, Fantasy Powder Bliss, GM Addix and Red Devils.
For these troupes, one of the main requirements was a performance of approximately 15 minutes in the Circus. This was responsible for some 65% of the points to be gained, thus very important in the decision-making.
In the 2017 contest, it was Red Devils who emerged winners, followed by Colortopia, X-Treme and Grand master’s Most Wanted.
Last year’s Road March Champion was Grand Masters, making it 9, in the history of carnival.
The next carnival event takes place Wednesday night at the Sugar Mill with the Talented Teen Contest and Junior and Youth Calypso Competitions.