For many Bajans, today is Grand Kadooment Day, a day that is looked forward to for many months.
Today is the climax, "le grand finale", of our Crop Over Festival.
As I sit here, high on the hilltop overlooking the Spring Garden Highway, I have no problem envisioning the frenzied activity that is unfolding below.
The costumed bands which start out at Warrens, have already paraded before spectators and judges at the National Stadium earlier today before setting off on a roughly five mile route of revelry. They will also be judged at various points along the route.
The bands depict various themes, and the designers all want to win the Designer of the Year award.
The noise of the LOUD pulsating sounds from the high-fi trucks on the road is almost as loud as the event itself, since the noise travels upward to the hills unimpeded.
Large crowds line the streets awaiting the arrival of their favourite bands.Once upon a time, spectators along the roadside would "crash" the band, and jump within the band members, now it is an offence to do so. Persons not registered with a costume band can be charged in a court of law.
Since I don't do crowds very well, I have no photos to share with you today.
Just know that the revelers are enjoying themselves "jumping up" and "wukking up" to the local calypso music. Dressed in "next kin to nothing" (which really means either sequined, feathered bikinis or loin cloths and shorts), they are enjoying themselves drinking, eating, singing and dancing.
All inhibitions are kicked to the curb for a day of wild abandon....the young, the old, the skinny, the full-figured hath no care that they are scantily clad. Although there are some bands that are sponsored by the churches and other moral organizations that are dressed with less skin and parts exposed, they are few and far bewteen.
I hear the sounds of the ambulance sirens, which means that some person or persons have fainted from exhaustion or fallen from consuming too many alcoholic beverages. I have never heard of anyone being trampled and needing to be rushed to hospital.
Tomorrow, many work stations will be empty because some workers just won't be able to crawl into work, or be able to actually drive a stroke....they will be totally "wasted", exhausted or hungover.
Brownie has been hanging out inside because the noise is too loud on the patio.
The loud shrills of the sirens are penetrating the air once again.....another one bites the dust.
Earlier in the day, one could actually see a trail of dust hanging over the route.....the trampled dust of thousands of revelers rising into the air.
There have been intermittent showers, but have no fear, that does not put a damper on their spirits...it is welcomed to cool off their sweaty gyrating bodies.
Lessons have been learned from the past, hence no drinks in bottles are sold along the route, because broken glass in a drunken mans' hands can create casualties.
The police force and the defense force soldiers will be on full alert all day long meandering among the revelers to keep control.
By this time the costumes are a mere ghost of what they are meant to be...the route is strewn with discarded shoes, and broken head dresses, as well as littered with beads, sequins and feathers, and tons of plastic cups.
There goes the siren again......
Tonight there will be fireworks on the beach after all the bands have arrived on the highway.
The revelry will continue into the night, until everyone has had their fill. Some will jump into the cool waters of the sea to cool their bodies down after a hot tiring day.
Lots of delicious Bajan delicacies and Banks beer to be had, and lots of loud chatter above the blaring music. One can almost eavesdrop on the conversations......
"What's dat you say?"
"I can't wait fuh next year Crop Over."
Oh me? I had a nice quiet day.