“This is what 50 looks like,” declared Marilyn Morrison, as she danced to one of Machel Montano’s hits being blasted from one of the trailers on Bacchanal Jamaica’s road march route.
Morrison as well as her 60-plus-year-old friend, Sheryl March, shared that nothing could stop them from jumping at the penultimate event of the soca season, despite it being scheduled during the hottest time of the year. Morrison, a resident of New York, has been jumping carnival for the past 31 years while March has 25 years’ experience.
“I started in 1991. It was Jamaica Carnival with Byron Lee. The costumes fell apart then in 1991 but they have improved a lot over the years and the material has gotten a lot skimpier,” March shared, donning her one-piece Arcadia costume. The duo admitted that although they have travelled the Caribbean and the diaspora to carnival events, nothing compares to feting at home. Morrison said that she has only missed one year of carnival, when she was eight months pregnant. Despite that she still jammed in front her television.
Like March, Morrison was not hesitant to show her ‘hourglass’ figure in her mid-line Shangri-La costume. They indicated that the years without the carnival experience, hindered due to COVID-19, could be likened to a drought that was quenched by the lifting of restrictions and the successful staging of the 2022 Carnival season.
And although there have been less events leading up to road march this year, the women admitted they are still pleased.
“There is nothing like being on the road in Jamaica. I missed it,” March stressed, having been to several carnivals earlier this year, making stops at Miami soca weekend, Cancun and Orlando.
Both soca veterans encouraged both the young and the young at heart to take the trek at Carnival’s road march at least once in their lifetime.
“Just try it, you won’t regret it. I love the music; the vibe is good. Once you try it, you won’t go back,” the women said.