Belize Carnival '97 the biggest and best ever

On Saturday, September 13th, thousands of people lined Caesar Ridge Road, Central American Boulevard, Belcan Bridge and Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City to witness the 1997 Carnival Parade.

Sixteen groups participated, some for entertainment and enjoyment others to compete for the title of Best Road March Band. The Carnival bands left Caesar Ridge Road at about 12:00 noon and arrived at the Belcan Bridge where they performed for the hordes of people that gathered there. The parade continued to the National Stadium where they performed for judges who selected the Best Road March Band.

The Senior and Junior King and Queen of Carnival along with 2nd and 3rd place winners and the rest of their entourage awed the crowd with excellent costumes and electrifying performances. The "Jump Street Posse"= band won first, second and third prize in the Junior King competition for their Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow - derived from the Wizard of Oz; their theme was "Story Land". Reflections Junior Band took third place in the Junior Queen competition for the Christmas Tree; their theme was "Christmas in September". The YWCA won second place in the Junior Queen competition for the Mahogany Tree; their theme was "First Log's Night at the Mahogany Camp". Black Culture Junior Band won first place for Sarah the most beautiful girl at Bud Bank village. Black Culture's theme was "Bud Bank Wedding". Bud Bank Wedding is an old folk tale about Sarah the most beautiful girl in the village who married Long Lip Frank, the ugliest man in the village.

In the Senior Queen and King competition only two bands participated, Cultural Heritage and Puntarama; C-Jam did not participate because according to a spokesperson of the band, "they were treated unfairly." Cultural Heritage's theme was "Crab Seasin" and they won first place in the Senior Queen competition for Sapphire the Goddess of Light and second place in the Senior King competition for Johnny Fiddla the King Crab. Puntarama's theme was "The Abyss" (from the motion picture Abyss) and they won first place in the King Competition for Pseudopod - the protector of the waters, and second place in the Senior Queen Competition for the Being.

The 1997/98 Best Road March Carnival band was awarded to C-Jam. Their theme was the Day of Fury and depicted a fictional day on which gods would invade the earth to do battle. Their band was lead by a float of Attica - the Imperial Palace of the Gods - followed by the Wrecked Angels who announced the coming of the gods and then by King Akan - Master of Warfare and Courage. Ashanty Warriors followed and then Queen Mei Ling - the Diva of Seduction. Temptresses of Seduction paraded behind Mei Ling and the Feathered Serpent - Lord of Deception followed. Suman - the Goddess of Peace and the Demi-gods concluded the C-Jam march.

Other groups that participated in the 97 Carnival Road March Parade are: Drum Corps from Orange Walk, the Minorettes, Wildajha - a combination junior band made up of children from Stela Morris and other primary schools in Belize - depicted Beauty beneath the Sea, Fauna-tastic a junior band from Democracia, a marching band from Dangriga and Edward P. York High School, the Tumblers - a group of acrobats and the Port Loyola poor people housing project.

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