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No rain can stop Bequia Carnival

No rain can stop Bequia Carnival

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by Jonathan Ashby in Bequia

It rained, it poured, but nothing could spoil the carnival mood of the folks who live on Bequia earlier this week.

On Sunday night the island’s Clive Tannis Playing Fields hosted the annual Bathing Costume/Evening Wear or Carnival Beauty Queen Competition depending on your sense of political correctness. {{more}}The event, which attracted a large number of the island’s 4,500 inhabitants, formed part of a full evening’s entertainment in the island’s sports stadium, which included Calypso music from a number of performers – and a Calypsonian Monarch competition, which offered anyone from the crowd willing to get on stage to have a try, a EC$200 cash treat for the privilege, irrespective of whether on not they won the monarch’s crown.

The highlight though, was the competition itself, especially when cheeky 15-year-old Port Elizabeth schoolgirl Christine James swept aside the other four competitors, Cason George, Timika Davis, Kenisha Patterson and Kaylorn Baptiste, in an event which included each girl providing a short original drama segment and a brief interview about themselves with the presenter.

And on Monday, sexy Christine led the way in a carnival procession and street jump-up, which went on from 3 p.m. to gone midnight.

High up on the back of a truck blasting out megawatts of dance music, Christine, in a skimpy red bikini, with her crown on her head and a boa feather on a stick in her hand, bumped and grinded her way none-stop throughout the day, in a staggeringly long and teasing display of female sensuality and enticement.

The crowds behind her truck loved it and were utterly fueled by her energy.

They jumped higher and longer than anyone has seen at a Caribbean carnival for a long time.

They came from all over the island, from Lower Bay, Hamilton, Paget Farm, Mount Pleasant, Level and The Harbour, each neighbourhood dressed in a variety of brightly coloured, specially slogan printed T-shirts.

The Lower Bay folks had Rum Squad emblazoned on their bright red T- shirts, while the folks behind the Harbour & Hamilton float wore bright orange shirts, with the slogan, Old Peace.

And the torrential downpours for most of the day did little to deter them from singing and dancing in the rain.

Queen Christine, lead her loyal fans and the carnival float trucks slowly along the road from Port Elizabeth to Hamilton and back more than five times, before the procession finally came to a halt under the island’s landmark Almond Tree near the harbour and partying continued up the road to The Penthouse Club and a neighbouring garden, where the dancing continued way into the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The normally bustling Port Elizabeth was a ghost town by breakfast time. The island’s folks were having a much-needed lay-in.

“Some people say the carnivals of yesteryear were better, because of the steel bands and the costumes people used to make and wear, but folks today

jump up and dance longer and harder to much more powerful electronic musical beats,” is the way one reveler put it, on his way home, across the bay, to Lower Bay, by boat – with a spectacular thunder and lightening show finale, exploding across the sky, above the island.