The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) on Tuesday reminded parents and the general public that there are age restrictions that will be implemented for Carnival 2016 and beyond for Carnival Village on adult oriented nights. The restrictions had to be implemented last year, but were delayed a year so that everyone could be properly prepared.
No minors 14 years of age or younger will be allowed into Carnival Village for adult oriented nights. They will only be allowed entrance on youth oriented night such as the Youth Extravaganza, Junior, Teen and Senior Pageants, $5 Village Night and on parade days.
Minors between the age and 15 and 17 can attend all nights and must be in possession of valid forms of identification. Preferably, this age group should be accompanied by an adult as well. The age restrictions also apply to booth holders and other Village stakeholders who sometimes bring their children to the Village.
The SCDF will also continue to stress to booth holders not to sell alcohol to minors and t continue policing each other in this regard. “Last year the awareness for youth alcohol consumption was high and booth holders should be complimented for their vigilance. We need that to continue this year,” SCDF said.
As for the road events, the foundation says it cannot assume the role of parents for hundreds of young people. However, it would support any effort by the Police Department to remove very young children from the jump-ups as well as fine parents who actively participate in a jump carrying or pushing a baby in a stroller behind a truck.
“Basically our message is a very simple one; the majority of shows in Carnival Village are not for very young children. There are enough other events specifically geared towards them and that is what they should stick to. We can’t be parents and organizers of Carnival, but we do have a responsibility to do something about an issue that was getting out of hand. We urge parents to do what’s best for their children,” the SCDF said.