By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Shell Saxons Superstars were named the unofficial champions of the 2018 New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade, ending a four-year drought which saw major changes within the group’s senior command.
Committed to delivering the “greatest performance downtown had ever seen” from the start of Monday’s parade, the Saxons, under the theme: “An Expression of Love: Feel the Rush, Junkanoo” finished the parade with a score of 88.66, a full 2.12 points ahead of One Family, which finished second.
The group, much to the delight of its supporters who turned up in droves at Arawak Cay for the reading of the unofficial results, scored first place finishes in the music, banner and overall performance categories.
The group also secured second place finishes in the overall costume and best Shirley Street performance categories.
“We had blood in our eyes; we saw the eye of the tiger and we had to get it done this morning,” said Kendenique Campbell Moss, the group’s public relations officer. “Having lost parade after parade, sometimes within a four or five point margin, it was very difficult for us. We had to go back to the drawing board. We have a team of young professionals that decided that we wanted to bring something different, something new, something innovative to the table.”
The last time the group won a Junkanoo parade was January 2013.
She continued: “We had not won the parade in an extremely long time and it showed. The morale of the group was down, but we banded together as a group of people (and) we did what we had to do.
“(Our theme was) a combination of all the things that are indigenous to Junkanoo, from whence came. You know, Junkanoo is still on the books as a noise ordinance, so we put everything in to that, from Maureen Duvalier to John Chipman. We wanted to make sure that everyone was on the line this morning. Of course, Maureen Duvalier is of course dead, but we had a memorial for her, in terms of representation in the group.”
The Saxons also displayed several pieces that paid tribute to other Junkanoo pioneers and historical moments for the art form.
Mrs Campbell Moss added: “It was an extremely difficult task to make sure that everything came together. We had to line up the group properly, meaning that you had the proper era with the proper group section, it was extremely difficult, but we got it done this morning.
“And everyone that sat around the board this morning are new people, when I say new people, new creative energy. I think when you saw us line up this morning and when you looked down Bay Street and you saw the emblem of the Shell Saxon Superstars, the crowd loved us this morning.
“We are the people’s champions. You saw it in their faces. You saw the expression. We came alive this morning; the crowd came alive.
“The Saxons deserve this win this morning,” she concluded.
According to unofficial results for the New Year’s Day parade, the Valley Boys finished third with 86.04 points, the Roots placed fourth, which won the Boxing Day parade, with 85.90 points and Genesis finished fifth with 81 points.
The Prodigal Sons for a fifth consecutive parade did not leave the starting gate.
With respect to the B Division, Colours emerged victorious yet again, out pacing the Fancy Dancers, Original Congos, Redland Soldiers and Conquers for Christ, which rounded out the top five.