Members of the Valley Boys yesterday defended the group’s 2019 Boxing Day win as other Junkanoo groups expressed disappointment with the results.
Junkanoo Corporation New Providence (JCNP) Chairman Dion Miller said yesterday that the frustration expressed by some groups is nothing new.
“Every year we experience protests,” he said.
“I don’t think in the last 10 years we have had a parade that there wasn’t some type of protest.”
He added, “We have a meeting tonight with all the groups where they will be given their credentials to access the scoring platform so they can view their scores. After tonight, there will be a 48-hour period for groups to launch an official protest. During that 48-hour period, groups are prohibited from speaking publicly to media outlets in reference to their protests.”
The Valley Boys were declared the unofficial winners of the parade on Thursday afternoon, with the Saxons Superstars placing second, Genesis in third, One Family in fourth and Roots in fifth.
Chris Fawkes, a Valley Boys step-down dancer, said yesterday, “If you were there, you could feel the energy when the Valley came down.
“We had crowd participation. Judges were paying attention, and we had overall a good rush. The music was on point. People were performing, so that’s why we were able to come out with the win.”
He added, “Normally, they say when you come out the gate first, you normally lose. But the Valley has squashed that again. So, any time we come out now, we’re coming out for the win, no matter what number we get.”
But Saxon Superstars Co-chair Kendenique Campbell-Moss insisted yesterday that the Saxons did more than enough to win the parade.
She said if anyone should have won, it should not have been the Valley Boys.
“I think that as a group, we are deeply disappointed,” she said.
“We came out and we brought the Saxons of old. There was tenacity. It was energy. It was confidence. We came out of the gate storming. We brought new music. We had new energy. We had costuming, choreography. Our music, our precision, our tempo and our beats. We were on point and we are disappointed.”
She added, “The Saxons of 2019 going into 2020 are a brand new Saxons. And you would have seen that coming out of the gate. We did our best and I think we went over and beyond.”
One Family was another favorite to win the parade, with spectators saying they rocked Bay Street. However, group leaders said they were not making any public comments at the time.
Genesis Grand Marshall Nathan Taylor said they were “okay” with their third place finish, but noted that they were affected by the rain.
“We feel pretty okay about it. However, at the start of our parade, the rain came down, which damaged a few of our costumes.”
He added, “But in spite of that, we still performed and put on a very good performance for the spectators.”
Taylor said Genesis isn’t concerned by the placement of the other groups.
“We really don’t pay too much attention to social media and the other stuff.
“With Junkanoo itself being a competition, we are really concerned about what the judges on the road [thought], how they scored the parade and how they viewed the parade.”