Powder, water, paint, mud, foam, music, and J'Ouvert-hungry revellers. All these ingredients came together to produce what was described as a bumper J'Ouvert in San Fernando yesterday.
However, while hundreds participated in at least 15 modern bands, veteran mas band D Blue Boys was the only traditional band with less than ten players.
While there has been a decline in traditional mas in San Fernando for years, yesterday was the first time in many years that only one band showcased traditional mas.
Admitting that the art form is dying, San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello said, "The modern J'Ouvert has taken over completely. There is a dwindling presence of the traditional mas and persons who play that do not have the energy anymore. It seems to me the political sarcasm and satire that we expect are dying. We really miss that. However, young people are really not holding on to traditional mas nor are they understanding it."
He said there are people who look forward to traditional mas and would have been left disappointed.
Regrello noted many modern bands and the increase in players for J'Ouvert but lamented the decline in pretty mas on Carnival Monday evening and on Tuesday.
Led by Valmiki "Val" Ramsingh, D Blue Boys won the traditional mas category in San Fernando for more than 35 years, and yesterday they did not disappoint.
Bringing humour to top controversial social and political issues in the country, they took jabs at Collin Piper, President-elect Christine Kangaloo, Cro Cro and Inshan Ishmael, Progressive Democratic Party and the missing prosecution file among others.
Revellers from the band D Image People during their portrayal of "A Crazy World" during J’Ouvert celebrations in San Fernando.
This year their production "Ah Blue Because" was dedicated to Ramsingh's brother Dave Ramsingh who recently passed away. Singing from on top of at least three music trucks, soca diva Nailah Blackman elicited much excitement and energy from the revellers with her live performances of her hit "Come Home", one of the favourites in line for the Road March title. The first to cross the judging point at Southern Academy for the Performing Arts just after 5 am was A&K Fashion Lab with their colourful presentation Freedom.
Among the bands transforming the streets into a sea of extreme euphoria was Black Heart Production with "Ah J'Ouvert Nation", "Xestacy of Colourz" hosted by Culture in Paint, Image People with "A Krazy World", Limerz Krew with "A Big Bang", B Man and Lord Street Fushion Family Events with "Share De Effin Live", Poudre's "Diable Rouge" and Glam Jam "Jouvert Band".
The revelry began around 2 am while J'Ouvert ended at 11 am to allow sufficient time to clean the streets in preparation for the Parade of the Bands carded to kick off at 1 pm, followed by Monday night mas.
Generation of Gold revellers during their portrayal of Red Light District during San Fernando J’Ouvert celebrations.