SCDF again plans 30 days of Carnival activities


FESTIVAL VILLAGE–The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will again host more than a month’s worth of activities for Carnival 2017, which is being dictated by the rapid and enormous growth of the festival, according to SCDF.

As it prepares to release its tentative schedule next week, SCDF announced that Carnival activities would kick off as early as mid-March and end May 4. “The days of Carnival being crammed into two weeks, with a handful of pre-Carnival events, are long gone. This is our new reality,” SCDF President Alston Lourens said on Wednesday.

He explained that the number of Carnival initiatives and events to which visitors and residents look forward is growing every year. The result is much earlier economic activity throughout the island with visitors travelling to the country much earlier to catch the pre-Carnival events as well, he pointed out.

Providing some insight into the 2017 schedule, Lourens said some 10 events would already have been held before Carnival Village officially opened.

“And by the time the Village opens, there will still be another three weeks of Carnival to go. The great thing is this is a controlled growth, because this is exactly what we envisioned when we changed our business approach a few years ago,” he said. “We were prepared for this and ready for even more growth when we implement new initiatives starting in 2017 that have specifically to do with expanding the reach of our festival in key source markets.”

Lourens also said that efforts are underway to secure the cooperation and partnership of the Culture Department to ensure that Carnival’s cultural aspects are included in its rapid growth.

Carnival lovers can expect the return of a number of popular local events complemented by about seven international events, road events and the Northeastern Caribbean’s largest Jouvert.

“We always challenge ourselves year after year. How are we going to top the last Carnival year? We always strive to do better. With the cooperation of our stakeholders and private sector partners, we hope to successfully meet that goal again in 2017,” Lourens said.

Source: The Daily Herald