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The Winners of the Carnival King & Queen Competition 2023

Sep 4, 2023

The Winners of the Carnival King & Queen Competition 2023

The 2023 Carnival Road March is less than a week away, set for this Saturday, September ninth. The season has been in full swing since May of this year, but it’s mas camp week and News Five will be bringing you live coverage of the pre-judging leading up to the road march. There are a total of nine bands competing in the bacchanal; four non-competing bands are also being featured this year. But the Carnival King and Queen Competition, which is judged separately from the road march, took place over the weekend. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

Duane Moody, Reporting

The battle of the giant costumes raged at the Belize City Civic Center, as nine competing bands in this year’s Carnival Road March fielded a king and a queen costume from their storyline. The judges were looking for creativity, originality, mobility and of course the carnival spirit. President of the Belize Carnival Association Patrick Thompson breaks it down.

Patrick Thompson

Patrick Thompson, President, Belize Carnival Association

“This is one of the big events apart from the road march, which is the king and queen. And I must say that this year, from last year, we improved. We have nine bands competing here tonight, which is five in the junior category and four in the senior category. And I must say in the senior category, we had a new band which is Maskall. And they showed us that they want carnival from Maskall. The king and queen is its own judging, but the only thing is that the king and the queen must be in the road march for them to qualify to be the road march champion. What we have to understand is that the king and queen is the backbone of their storyline that they will be presenting. So like how we see tonight, we had where one of the group were in the forest and we were talking about the creatures, well the road march, the revellers will be the creatures and the king and queens are the protectors of those people. So the king and queen enhance the revellers come road march.”

For the juniors, Jump Street Posse swept the competition, winning first place for both the king and queen categories. Their band leader is Marina Welcome who says that this year, she is doing Disneyland. Her queen captured the Little Mermaid and her king was the Beast from Beauty and the Beast.

Marina Welcome

Marina Welcome, Band Leader, Jump Street Posse

“I told my daughter Crystal, I say honey, guess what? We wah do wah mermaid. She say mommy how? I say give me a day or two, thing wah happen. And I sat down and I think, I sleep with my book in my bed as usual and ideas just start to pop. The beast – I was in the bed and I clicked on Beauty and the Beast and I said okay, I am going to do this beast my way.”

Last year’s defending champion Soca Massive captured second for Queen in the junior division, while its king got third. Pauline Bradley says that her theme is soca monarchy.

Pauline Bradley

Pauline Bradley, Band Leader, Soca Massive

“My queen is queen Brenae and king Lafool. You know in medieval times, you have the kings the queens and when they have a jubilee or any kind of event, they have the jesters who is the main event who entertains them. So that’s why its Gustave the Fool, who is the jester and Queen Brenae.”

In the senior division, the giant costumes were immaculate and it was without a doubt a tough decision for the judges to determine the winners. The gap in the scores was small, but in the end, Belizean Jewels won queen, while its king took third place. Kadejah Tunn-Retreage played Queen Medusa.

Kadejah Tunn-Retreage

Kadejah Tunn-Retreage, Belizean Jewels

“Couple of the pieces that you see me wearing, I made them in Texas. The other pieces were made here, but we couldn’t really put everything together until I got to Belize the day before the competition. So it was a hit or miss. Every year, Belizean Jewel, we try to dance with a purpose behind it and our team for this year is when masculinity and femininity collide. So we want to make the nation know that femininity and masculinity can coexist happily and we chose Medusa and Poseidon to put that forth.”

Mother Nature Creation won first place in the king category and was also able to snag second place for queen. It was an impressive showing, as they featured the black jaguar as the protector of mother earth.

Tricia Jeffries

Tricia Jeffries, Mother Nature Creation

“The queen costume is a forest and within the forest, the black jaguar, which is the king, he protects everything within the forest, which is me, I am the queen, Queen Ortrist. So he protects everything within my forest.”

Duane Moody

“How did you guys come up with this idea?”

Tricia Jeffries

“Well we always have a story or a line behind everything doing true Belize. So we just bring out the Belizean rainforest and then we bring everything that ias int he Belizean rainforest to life.”

Soca Moca won second in the senior king category and third for its queen.

Audrey Bradley

Audrey Bradley, Band Leader, Soca Moca

“My king represent my first section which are the gangs weh di destroy our nation – thing weh di happen every day. And my queen dah di guiding angel weh guide over all. I always try put out mi best, even if it means I am not sleeping, I am not working; dah lot a love. It’s what we love, everybody weh deh yah especially the band leaders. Everybody mi look really good tonight. Like I say, every year, everybody up dehn game and tonight, we improve.”

Duane Moody for News Five.