Two Carnival booth-holders fight to keep their booths

PHILIPSBURG–Evelyn Dopwell has been operating her booth during April Carnival festivities for the past twenty years, but this time around she might not be able to operate her spot because of a reshuffle by St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF).

Dopwell was told in November last year that SCDF had done some reshuffling, that her name had come up and the board had decided to give another person the booth for the 2017 Carnival season.

“I followed all instructions given by the committee, from the time they announced it on September 6, 2016, that booth-holders must register online. On September 14, I signed up online and on November 9, I got the call that I lost my booth,” stated Dopwell in an interview with The Daily Herald.

After numerous times trying to speak to SCDF President Alston Lourens, Dopwell decided to contact an attorney to take the Foundation to court.

“I think it is wrong. I have been operating a booth for 20 years. How can they just take it away? I contacted Cor Merx and he will represent me in a civil case against the Foundation on Friday. I tried getting the new president and his phone is never on or it rings out,” said Dopwell.

Booth-holder Avril Berry, who has had a booth during Carnival for the past 27 years, has also found herself in the same predicament and was also told by SCDF that she will not be coming back for the 2017 Carnival festivities. Berry also contacted lawyer Merx, who took the case on and will represent both booth-holders in the Court of First Instance this Friday.

SCDF President Lourens was contacted by this newspaper, but declined to comment before the case has been presented in court. SCDF is charged with organising Carnival for a period of two weeks in the Festival Village which turns into Carnival Village for the period.

Source: The Daily Herald