~ Jr. Parade separated from adults ~
The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) and its long-time corporate partner Scotiabank on Thursday launched online the official 2016 Carnival schedule of events. Scotiabank has produced the Carnival scheduled for well over 15 years and has once again teamed up with the SCDF to present a colorful product that will be distributed throughout the region.
The 2016 schedule features 30 days of Carnival activities, starting as early as March 19. Carnival 2016, the 47th edition of Carnival on St. Maarten, will kick off with the opening of Carnival Village on April 14 and will close with the traditional burning of King Momo on May 3. The schedule features six international concerts and 24 locally themed Carnival events.
A significant change on the schedule is the separation of the Junior Carnival Parade from the Grand Parade. The SCDF had combined two over the past few years due to lack of participation in the junior parade. The foundation is confident this year however that participation will be adequate to allow the children to have their own parade.
“Also, what weighed heavy on our minds is what happened last year when we had to rush the children along the parade route due to extreme heat. The adults at the rear of the parade understood our reasoning but were none too pleased with what happened. So this year we will offer a shorter route for the children and their parade will start a little later in the day,” Director of St. Maarten Carnival Mike Granger explained. The three parades will run back-to-back with the Juniors on April 30, Grand Parade on May 1 and Second Day Parade on May 2.
All four pageants are also back on the schedule, this time under the auspices of Posh Productions, the entity to which SCDF outsourced its pageants following the close of Carnival 2015. The Junior, Teen, Senior and Mature Pageants are on 4 consecutive nights in the middle of the schedule.
The six international shows features familiar brands such as what being called the flagship show of St. Maarten Carnival, Night of the Hit Makers, on the premier weekend of the festival. Sabor Latino IV is also back along with Caribbean Flag Fest II. There will also be a reggae night, an African Flavour concert which is new to the schedule and a concert presented by Dreamteam Entertainment, also new comers to Carnival. Additionally, the Nagico Calypso competitions as well as the Soca Rumble give lovers of soca and calypso lots of opportunities to enjoy their favorite art form.
“It is never an easy task to put together a schedule for Carnival since we always have to consider so many factors including the Easter holidays. This year Easter falls early so it gave us the entire month of April to play with. We are satisfied with the final product and hope Carnival lovers are as excited as we are,” Granger said.
Granger also expressed thanks to Scotiabank for sticking with the foundation as a dedicated and dependable corporate partner. Scotia also produces the uniform shirts for the foundation’s members. “Scotia continues to play an important role in St. Maarten’s largest, longest and oldest annual event. We are grateful to know we can count on the bank annually and that it recognizes its role as a corporate citizen in this country,” Granger said.