Editorial Staff
7 months ago

Editorial Staff
7 months ago

Carnival Activities Receives a Passing Grade So Far

The 2023 Carnival festivities, dubbed the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival, are in full swing in Antigua and Barbuda.

The first two activities held last week were the much-anticipated return of the Queen of Carnival Competition and the Mr. and Miss Teenage Pageant. The activities heated up with the opening day parade and Jam sessions throughout the Streets of St Johns last Thursday.

Revelers return to the streets in droves Saturday afternoon for another jam session, this time the T-Shirt mas which usually draws thousands of people who take the opportunity to party with the different troops who offer attractive packages of their choice.

Festivals Minister Daryll Mathew said on Saturday that he was overjoyed to see revelers turning out in their numbers.

He likened it to 2019 when an estimated 17 to 18,000 people took to the streets.

According to Mathew, it would appear the patrons of this year’s carnival had some “pent-up energy for not having a proper carnival because of COVID-19.

“The revelers are out in their numbers, the mas troupes have been reporting a large number of registrants playing with them. I was on the road I just stepped away to take this call but I can see people having a lot of fun, the security forces are out in their numbers as well to ensure that safety is maintained and I would just love for it to continue like this for the rest for the night and for the rest of the carnival.

The minister also gave his outlook on the activities so far saying they took the initiative this year to incorporate some changes in the festival indicating his team also had the opportunity to witness the two pageants so far.

He noted, “It is not just about coming on a stage and performing it is a full theatrical production that is incorporated into carnival and so, for example, the one with the opening of carnival where we celebrated the Burning Flames which were the Grand Marshalls the theatrical presentation was surrounding the Burning Flames and their accomplishment.

“We are trying to ensure that it is an expression of who we are and not just the jump and wave sort of a thing. So, yes, I am very happy we had some technical issues with the Teenage Pageant show which were beyond our ability to control, but I think so far things have gone great and I pray that it continues throughout the rest of the carnival festivities”.

Despite the positives, the minister did note with concern the tardiness of the jam bands which leads to a late start forcing the parades to go longer than planned.

This also happened Saturday evening leading to a late start to T-Shirt mas.

“That is something I am not particularly happy with today some of the bands showed up late and it is something that we need to address before the next street parade”, he said.

The annual summer festival continues on Sunday with the Oasis Junior Carnival, and Global Ports Junior Party Monarch beginning at 2:30 and 6 pm respectively.

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