By LETRE SWEETING
WITH practices for the upcoming Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Junkanoo parades underway, two group representatives are already claiming victory of the parades.
After a more than two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public relations director of the Saxons Superstars Kendenique Campbell-Moss said practice for the upcoming parades has been very rewarding.
“The Saxon Superstars practice has been going immensely well, and I say immensely well, because we’ve been on hiatus for about 2.5 years because of COVID.”
“And with the recent resurgence of Junkanoo practices for us, it’s been a monumental task,” Ms Campbell-Moss said.
“It’s been overwhelming, it’s been unifying, it’s been an opportunity for us to see persons that we may not have seen, because of COVID. And, of course, the camaraderie that has been built around the practices and getting ready for the return to Bay (Street), you know, it’s an absolutely phenomenal experience,” she said.
Ms Campbell-Moss added, “We have more participants. As a group we are about maybe 10,000 strong. We cannot take 10,000 people to Bay Street. But our group numbers are astronomical.
“We had practice Sunday night, that Sunday practice had Arawak Cay blocked up for hours and hours on end, the music was melodious, the tempo, the energy, the feverish anticipation of what is to come,” she said.
When asked about the group’s competition this year, she said, “Well, we really don’t see any competition. So, I have no choice words. But if you are coming for the parade, you have to come to beat us. We are in fact the champions. And it’s not champion by one or two points. So who are my competitors? Who is competing with me? I am the best. There’s nothing else to say.”
However Valley Boys deputy chairman Patrick Adderley said the Junkanoo group will be separating themselves in the upcoming parades and “annihilating” any and all competition.
“I’d like to share just two things, and the watchwords for these two parades are dominance and annihilation. And the Valley Boys will clearly separate themselves. And we will once again show the Junkanoo world that we’re the juggernauts of Junkanoo and we will just simply annihilate the competition,” he said.
“When you see us line up, you will see a vast difference between the Valley Boys and the second place, whoever that may be,” Mr Adderley said.
He added that with the vast increase in those participating in the upcoming parades, the group has set up new marshalling strategies to better manage the numbers.
“The Valley Boys would have I would imagine, I guess five to 800 people, we’re gonna try our best to manage them. Not try our best, we will manage that because we’ve even embarked on a new marshalling endeavour,” Mr Adderley said.
“We anticipate that with this hiatus from Junkanoo, that we’re going to have that increased membership, if you will. And so we have already put plans in motion, formulated a new marshal strategy. And we have already begun to implement that. Even at the practices,” he said.
“If you attend Potter’s Cay dock, the Sunday practice, you will see a new marshalling plan and strategy in place to mitigate against this increase in the numbers,” Mr Adderley said.
In 2019, the Saxon Superstars emerged as the official winner of the 2019 Boxing Day parade after a penalty reversal. Then JCNP Chairman Silbert Ferguson cited errors in the allocation of penalties as the reason.
This pushed the Valley Boys, the original winner, into second place. Questions had swirled at the time across social media about the shifting in the results.
The Saxons had placed second in the unofficial tally, followed by Genesis, One Family and the Roots.
The Saxons also won the following 2020 New Year’s Day Junkanoo parade.