A patron stops for a picture in front of the Soca Monarch sign. (Picture by Reco Moore)
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Hot and humid conditions gave way to rain around the halfway mark of today’s MQI 98.1 The One Soca Monarch Competition, heing held for the first time at the National Botanical Gardens, Waterford, St Michael.
Around 3 p.m., the heat became oppressive and the lower level stratus clouds turned dark as rain moved into the area.
Soon after, the first drops of rain appeared. Only a few had been up for the sun, but a sea of umbrellas suddenly appeared across the grounds, while those in the tents began rolling down the sides to get some protection.
Almost as quickly as they came, the rain clouds rolled away and the crowd continued to swell.
It was a tough day for the performers who not only had to battle the sun shining directly into their faces, but the audience was very hard to move. Leadpipe, with the popular Sometime, and reigning Party Monarch Mikey, with Action Time Again, got the best response.
Meanwhile, the traditional picnic atmosphere was on the grounds, but in the numbers traditionally seen at Bushy Park, St Philip, the home of the now defunct Soca Royale.
Thousands braved the forecast conditions of a tropical wave which was passing through the area, arriving with their coolers and packed lunches. Around the venue, vendors were setting up, hoping to cash in on the day and the ice and sno cone sellers did brisk trade.
Yesterday’s rains made the outskirts of the Gardens a muddy mess. Those who were fortunate to have four-wheel drive vehicles were able to navigate the mud, but it was not as easy for others.
However, the cooling breezes which flowed across Waterford Bottom and through the Gardens eased the heat as patrons settled in for a party. (SAT)