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Youth stage

marciadottin, [email protected]

Youth stage

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PREPARED TO BE WOWED by costumes showcasing history, fantasy, the environment, folklore, tropics and the community when the annual Kraft/Farmer’s Choice Junior Kadooment, dubbed Kiddies Kadooment, comes off next Saturday at the National Stadium at 2 p.m.After weeks of planning and preparing, the island’s young revellers will jump in the annual and long anticipated parade of bands from the Lawrence T. Gay Memorial School into the National Stadium where they will cross the stage before the judges.Some bandleaders talked to the SATURDAY SUN about their bands. Betty West took a different approach this year with her band Bajan Adventure, seeking to make people pay more attention to the revenue-earning sectors, especially foreign exchange earners because these are the days of economic recession.In order to do this, West created a band featuring costumes inspired by some of the natural attractions and reefs in Barbados which need to be preserved and are enjoyed by tourists and Barbadians alike.The sections are Folkestone Underwater Park, The Flower Forest, which comprise four sub-sections: Hibiscus, Orchid, Bougainvillaea and Sunflower; then there is the Bird Sanctuary for the younger, smaller revellers, containing two sections, the Egrets for the girls and the Parrots for the boys.  West, whose band is sponsored mainly by Abed’s and Material Things, explained that her major challenge came when she had to purchase a ticket to go back to Trinidad to obtain certain materials such as fibreglass rods, which she “definitely” could not get in Barbados. She added that her kiddies band was her best and she “feels good about it”. Gwyneth Squires, however, decided to impress the young children by creating a band which catered to all their favourite things, with Kids Like It So. The band comprises sections showcasing foods and items that kids love: Hot And Tasty, Strictly Gaming, Nice Like Coco, Ice and Nice and Creamy.Squires, who has been participating in the parade for 25 years, explained that it was “4 o’ clock in the morning when [the idea] came to me”. She said that she wanted to do something for the kids, and that had proved successful since they were “sold out and everybody like it”. She added that she faced no challenges whatsoever because she was “born in mas”, so it was easy for her.For Mackie Holder of Wednesday 2000, it is not all fun and games. For his third band he decided to focus on Barbados’ Independence, which he believes has fallen into the background, so he thought it would be ideal to structure a band around that history because of what it represents.The band, which goes by the name Pride And Industry – The Barbados Coat of Arms, has five sections – Los Barbados, Pellicanidae, Brown Sugar/Sugar Cane, Pride of Barbados and Reflection – Tribute to St Andrew – which, according to Holder, “point to the beauty, history and economic activity of Barbados at the time of Independence”.Holder explained that he had challenges getting partners on board and getting people to register early because “making outfits for kids takes a while as kids like costumes to not only look pretty but fit well”. Renee Ratcliffe of Jump Promotions created her band African Journey with no challenges or problems since she is the “only bandleader who has a associate degree in fashion design”. The band has five sections, Pink Lake, Serengeti Zebras, Ashanti Warriors, African Butterflies and the Royalty Of The Nile.Ratcliffe explained that she had originally intended to use the idea for the Grand Kadooment band but decided to use it for the juniors because she would be able to be more elaborate.The Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary School band Bugging Out has also had its share of challenges. Bandleader Heather Lovell-Callender said that although people reported that the band’s costumes were very attractive and reasonably priced, there have been problems obtaining sponsorship – although they currently have sponsors – as well as getting funds to buy materials, which are very costly, and getting enough helpers.