By Hermina Charlery | Mon, April 16, 2012 - 12:05 AM
Saturday morning, at 1 a.m. sharp, participants in Settlers The West Coast Experience left the Esso Service Station at the bottom of Holders Hill where they had gathered, bringing the entire West Coast of Barbados to life.
The Os Barbados-themed event is a heritage tourism project highlighting the historical heritage of Barbados in a fun and exciting way.
This year it was divided into five sections: Os Barbados, Portuguese, Navigation, Royal Expedition and Ao Brasil.
Os Barbados is the name that Portuguese explorers gave the island on their brief visit in the 16th century.
The carnival, now in its second year, has definitely left its mark on the public’s consciousness, as hundreds of people lined the route from as early as 10 p.m. to watch the Settlers crew pass by.
Non-costumed revellers also took advantage of the carnival atmosphere by jamming alongside the big music truck in droves. Food and beverage vendors, even DJs set up in Holetown to cater to the large gathering of onlookers, much like is done for Crop Over’s Grand Kadooment.
The organizers had planned for a larger turnout than last year’s, but all five sections of the carnival were still sold out. Despite the large crowd on the road the event was incident-free and a good time was had by all that attended.
A search for Settlers on social media site Twitter produced generally positive feedback about the experience from revellers and spectators alike.
Paying revellers got to enjoy some of the same treats as in last year’s event, plus some new ones.
The route was divided into four zones – the Paint Zone, Glo-Zone, Mud Zone and, new this year, the Foam zone.
The paint zone was made more dymanic this year with paint guns and Settlers personnel moving through the crowd splattering paint on revellers.
This year saw the introduction of leaders for each section and a queen of the carnival. The section leaders were picked by Toni Thorne, managing director of Settlers, for being progressive women in Barbados.
Allison Hinds, the Queen of Soca herself, was section leader for Royal Expedition, Nexcyx’s front lady Mahilia Philips led Portuguese, and Candi Nicholls led the Navigation section. Each bandleader had a distinctive costume.
The queen of the carnival was Nadine Jack, the first Face Of Settlers.
After the jump, paying revellers were treated to one of the four scrumptious breakfast options they had selected when they registered.
The Barbados Breakfast Festival, the follow-on from the carnival, was low-key however and finished early.
The carnival is leaving its mark on the minds of Barbadians and becoming a fixture on the local cultural calender. It will go on to become a household name for a quality and fun carnival experience in the region.
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