Jamaica’s Carnival back on the road

Carnival is set to make a comeback in Jamaica after ending in 2008.
Carnival is set to make a comeback in Jamaica after ending in 2008.

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Though it may not have had the numbers as in previous years, Jamaica Carnival’s Road March made a comeback to the streets of the Corporate Area last Sunday.

Julianne Lee, a director of Jamaica Carnival, said she was however pleased with its staging.

“It was a great dry run and we had a fabulous time. We planned the event in less than three weeks, after a seven-year hiatus, and everything went smooth,” she said.

“There were some showers at the end and it was a blessing as we felt Daddy… It was a very emotional day for me and the family.”

‘Daddy’ is Byron Lee, the band leader who launched Jamaica Carnival in 1990. He died from cancer in 2008 at the University Hospital of the West Indies at age 73.

That was the last year of Jamaica Carnival.

Lee and his Dragonaires band rubbed shoulders with major acts from the Eastern Caribbean as the event, held during Easter, attracted massive crowds.

To expand Jamaica Carnival’s base, Lee also collaborated on hit songs with dancehall acts such as Admiral Bailey and Beenie Man.

The latter was one of several acts that formed part of the parade. Trinidad soca artist 5Star Akil and deejays Ding Dong and Serani were also part of the entertainment package.

“They were on point and engaging the people,” said Alex Lawson, another Jamaica Carnival director. Lee said the response was encouraging.

“People came up to me and told me the positive role Daddy played in their lives. We could feel the love. Daddy’s legacy still continues.”