Sat | Dec 10, 2016

An X.Clusive New Years Eve to remember

Published:Sunday | January 4, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Wendy Beswick (left) and Garrick Robinson.
Abigail Huxtable (left) and Keisha Bailey at Smirnoff X.Clusive.
Part of the crowd at Smirnoff X.Clusive, held at Hope Gardens, St Andrew, on New Years Eve. -PHOTOS BY Brian McCalla/Freelance Photographer
Thiah McPherson (left) and Clint Ferguson take a selfie.
Suzanne McIntosh (left) and Opal Halsall.
From left: Ayeesha Cooke, Roy Reid, Terry-Ann Reid and Kemila Barrett.
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Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer

With party favours being handed out on entrance, it was clear that X.Clusive by the Luminaries wasnt going to be your ordinary New Years Eve celebration, as patrons enjoyed first-class VIP treatment throughout the night.

The Pavilion at Hope Gardens was transformed into the most beautiful space with elaborately decorated cabanas that made patrons feel like celebrities, and when The Gleaner team arrived at the venue at 11 p.m., the party was already in full swing.

Chromatic got things going in the early juggling segment, constantly updating patrons on the time so everyone inside the venue would know when 2015 arrived.

Some old school hip hop and soca hits were crowd favourites, as patrons sang and danced along to the deejays vibrant early set.

Switching things up a bit and teasing with some dancehall, the selector drew for Kevin Lyttles Turn Me On, and the crowd immediately went into couple up mode with men holding their women in tight embraces. The intimate moment was to be short-lived, however, as the selector made it clear that he wasnt ready to throw the party in that direction just yet. He then went back into his soca selections.

By this time, the announcement was made that 2015 was just a minute away. Patrons were advised to get close to their family, friends and significant others, so they could ring in the New Year the right way. A New Years Eve party without fireworks would be pointless, and so as the countdown began, so did the fireworks, and patrons signalled the start of the New Year with a resounding Happy New Year shout around the venue.

If one thought the venue was packed before midnight, then the start of the New Year must have brought out an additional flow of patrons, as just minutes after 12 a.m., the venue was full to capacity.

Food all night

Caterers were kept busy all night as the food lines kept growing longer and longer and one could see why. With Jacqui Tyson being responsible for the evenings delectable eats, the palates of patrons were treated to a variety of scrumptious selections including shrimp pasta, burgers, curried goat, seafood soup, mashed potatoes and more, and for those with a sweet tooth, the Haagen Daas booth was a sure hit, serving up delicious ice-cream all night long.

The all inclusive event meant that patrons had all they could drink and that they took advantage of the numerous bars across the venue, that were also kept busy throughout the night. But even as patrons were free to indulge, the selector made certain to keep advising guests to drink responsibly.

Food and liquor aside, it was back to party mode with Chromatic. Spinning some classic dancehall hits, the experienced sound had guests dancing up a storm inside the venue. Females could be seen gyrating their hips to the infectious beats as the fellows quickly took their places behind them.

Sensing that the crowd was getting a bit too warmed up, the deejay opted to cool things down on the dance floor with a slew of reggae hits. That, however, only brought couples closer, as they locked themselves in tight embraces to slow dance to some good ole reggae music.

DJ Nicco took over the turntables shortly after and from there on, it was all dancehall. Hits from Vybz Kartel, Konshens, I-Octane, Beenie Man and others had the females gyrating so hard, many forgot they were in short dresses and stilettos, as they proceeded to do as they were being instructed through the music. When The Gleaner team left the venue at 4 a.m., the party was still in full swing.

shereita.grizzle@gleanerjm.com