SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - If crowds are an indication of a great Carnival to come, then the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) should expect a terrific Carnival season. The Causeway Jump-Up, the foundation’s first major road event held on Saturday drew thousands of Carnival revelers who have not had a “normal” Carnival since 2019.
Since then, the Coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of two Carnival seasons and a COVID-restricted third season last year. Even the Carnival kick-off block party held on Friday drew hundreds (see related story).
It was the Causeway Jump-Up however, that allowed revelers to shake off three years of rust and have a good time in preparation of the upcoming season. Four band trucks took to the road and made their way through Simpson Bay, over the Causeway Bridge, through Cole Bay and finally coming to a stop at the local restaurants popularly known as the Kim Sha Parking Lot strip.
The reigning Band Clash champions Skillful Band and TG Band with Mr. O-Ezy (Minister Omar Ottley) held most of the crowd the entire route and sent a message that the two bands are crowd-favorite frontrunners this year.
It was evident that the SCDF and local authorities have once again adopted a no-nonsense approach to safety and security with a large contingent of police officers who made a strong impression by arriving on scene like an army in a tour bus, supplemented by SCDF's security team from Valkyrie Security, the Ambulance and Fire Departments. There were no difficulties as a result, and the jump-up went without a hitch and ended roughly 45 minutes early.
“We understood that there were one or two minor scuffles after the jump-up, but the police dealt with those as well. Planning meetings, constant communication and cooperation always tend to result in a successful event. We are grateful for the relationship we have built with the Police Department of St. Maarten. These men and women work long hours in the Carnival season but go above and beyond to keep people safe and orderly so we can have a great season. And that showed on Saturday night,” President of the SCDF Edwardo Radjouki said.
“I would like to thank the general public for conducting themselves admirably. We could feel the high energy in the air, the eagerness to get back on the road. It all came out and we had some good, clean fun. Many thanks also to the Fire and Ambulance Departments, our security team Valkyrie and our cleaning company Quality Sweepers for keeping the public roads spotless,” Radjouki concluded.