By Benjamin Flowers
Hundreds of revellers dressed in ornate, brightly coloured costumes took to the streets in the blazing heat to perform for thousands of spectators in the Carnival Road March 2014.
The carnival held on Saturday September 2013, featured 13 of the 14 registered bands divided into junior and senior categories. There were eight senior and six junior bands which were divided up into large and smaller bands, depending on the number of revellerers they had
The carnival started off at Caesar Ridge Road turning on to Central American Boulevard before going over Belcan Bridge, onto Princess Margaret Drive, and ending at the BTL Park.
Judges assessed the revellers at three different locations along the route and scored them on three different levels: durability of costume, carnival spirit, and theme depiction.
While the two items dealing specifically with the costumes were worth 20 points each, carnival spirit which was all about how much gusto and energy revellers put into their performance, was worth 40 points.
Combined with 20 points that could be won at the pre-judging during the mass camp held the week before, bands could earn up to 100 points from each of the five judges. Pre-judging considered two key carnival elements – creativity and artistic quality, worth 10 points each.
Of the five bands competing in the senior large band category, Erotic Mas Band took first place with 458 points, followed by Soca Mocha Carnival Band with 449 points and Mother Nature’s Creation with 440.
Belizean Jewels won the first and only prize issued for the senior small band category. There were only three competitors in that section.
Dynamic Dancers, was the only competitor in the junior small band category, because Western Paradise did not show up. Sunshine Masqueraders won first in the junior large band category, followed by Jump Street Posse.
Erotic won $10,000, while Soca Mocha got $5,000 and Mother Nature’s Creation received $4,000. In the Junior category Jump Street Posse got $7,000 and Sunshine Masqueraders got $4,000.
The festivities started at around 5 a.m. with the sixth session of the J’ouvert street march. The police reported that with the exception of one shooting incident which happened a little after 6 a.m., the day went on without major incident.
Press Officer for the department, Rafael Martinez, said that just about half the entire police department was mobilized in Belize City on carnival day.