“Mash done?” With a questioning and slightly incredulous expression on her face, she delivered the question, to no one in particular as she rushed around, her eyes scanning the area, possibly to see if perhaps there was at least one straggler float anywhere.
She could not have been more than 10 years old and more than likely had attended a few of the national celebrations but, as she probably was recalling, none with so few people and not one that concluded quite so early.
Given the incidents of the past weeks, a large turnout of people was in doubt, long before the event and this held and was confirmed on Mash day. There was just a sprinkling of people at the normally crammed starting point at Camp and Church streets and elsewhere; persons stayed away from the event in large numbers. The revellers too, it seemed were somewhat ‘toned down’ even though there were quite a few, decidedly, viewer discretion advised, scenes.
Though the decision by GT&T not to participate in the Float parade was a disappointment as its rivalry with Digicel made quite a stir last year, and there was not that ‘fun fun jump jump party party’ , mood that ‘blue power’ inspired, the show went on and we were impressed with quite a few bands.
Not unexpectedly, the parade did not start on time despite the penalties that were promised to have been instituted. And with some bands arriving at the starting point, long after the previous one had left, it was akin to a car with a bad engine or more likely a cart being pulled by a stubborn mule.
But some of the floats were very creative and bands that made an impression on us were Digicel, Concept Entertainment and the Ministry of Health, not necessarily in that order, which were quite good.
Concept Entertainment, the new kid on the block, took the streets by storm and grabbed the imagination of the people, even drawing in persons from the streets onto the road at various points. While a sticking point for some were the somewhat child-unfriendly costumes, the revellers were obviously out to have a good time and did! The beautiful blue butterfly and the stunning, well, we’re not quite sure what it was but the reveller pulling that float, you know the one with what appeared to be cut-down trees, drew appreciative comments. The rest of the revellers were well decked out too and in a variety of costumes.
Following Concept some time after was the Digicel band and an almost empty road was filled with people. Somewhere, we were sure, was Helen of Troy but we did not spot her. Could we ask whether she went over to Concept as the lady pulling that float we were not sure about?
But Digicel took to the streets this year in fine style, and the Trojan horse, the designer of which deserves a ‘thumbs up’, was remarkable and something which was a surprise to us. So too were the warriors who danced and clashed with abandon, in their hot red and gold outfits. Cupid, or was it Mercury, was there too and one of us was sorely tempted to join in the fun there and then as Digicel stepped it up a notch.
There must be something at the Ministry of Health that makes that ministry bring out, arguably one of the best floats and definitely the best of the government’s floats, every year. The devil was with the float but not in the details apparently, as, just like last year, this ministry had an outstanding band again this year and was certainly the best of the government bands as well as one of the funniest overall. Talk about grown men in diapers.
There were some others that did well, others that were quite ho-hum and forgettable and some downright disappointing as more was expected out of them.
But we are going to let you know which band we thought was the best, never mind what the Mash judges say. The race between two of them for The Scene’s top spot was thisclose. Okay, wait for it