Zoukie Trucking: Carnival vehicle of choice for 28 years
Since 1990, Zoukie Trucking has been responsible for carting and leading imbibing, gyrating crowds of revellers through the streets of Kingston on Carnival Sunday.
In the beginning with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, the trucking company was made to provide merely five trucks for the road parade. Last year, after the Jamaican Carnival celebrations grew from one band on the road to four bands, Zoukie Trucking provided approximately 26 trucks.
"Zoukie participated as far back as the beginning of our late music pioneer Bryon Lee, who felt the energy of UWI Carnival and brought it to the roads of Jamaica," general manager Michelle Henry told The Gleaner.
Despite the absence of the Jamaica Carnival crew from the road this year, Zoukie will be providing about the same number of trucks as 2017.
"The crowd has shifted across the three carnivals, so the numbers remain the same," Henry explained.
Logic and experience
Zoukie's planning for the bacchanalia begins as early as January.
"Carnival is a lot of logistics, planning and ensuring all our equipment are properly outfitted and railed flatbeds are up to safety standards to hold the patrons. We start preparing early to ensure both trailers and flatbeds are depicting our image," the manager said.
"It is important that we use our very experienced drivers, which all are," she assured. "It takes patience, alertness, proper judgement to manoeuvre in the crowd."
It also takes a bit of excitement. According to Henry, the staff look forward to Carnival each year, and are as excited as the patrons on the road.
"The energy level is high, although they are not allowed to interact by dancing and drinking liquor during the parades," Henry said.