As the final parade participants were sheparded onto Ketagalan, where boxed dinners and drinks awaited them, parade initiator Gordon Tsai (蔡聰明) was still delighting youngsters and oldsters with his firebreathing, while moms and dads were grabbing their last chance to have their children pose next to a samba queen, a Barbie or on one of the floats.
And the winner is ...
As it turned out, the Ma-jia team were named the winners of the Samba Drum Competition, taking home NT$50,000 in cash, NT$20,000 in coupons for more Cadeson drums, a trophy, a diploma and medals for each team member. They absolutely deserved the award.
The samba beauty queens paraded one more time on the stage, but a winner was not announced because people were encouraged to vote for their favorite over the Internet, with results to be posted later.
However, the proud winner of the samba grannie contest was Chuang Yue-kuei (莊月桂) from Keelung’s Dajhuangguan (大壯觀) community.
As the moon rose high over the Taiwan National University Hospital, diehard partiers were still making music and magic in front of the foreign ministry as this tired judge followed a line of equally tired parents and still-wired children bedecked with samba bead necklaces or bemoaning the absence of them headed for the MRT.