by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Sugar Mas 50 events with live audiences have been given the green light by the COVID-19 Task Force. So the St. Kitts and Nevis National Carnival Committee (SKNNCC) is in full swing to make them happen, taking health and safety into consideration.
However, the committee is currently facing a challenge in getting a section of the entertainment industry, namely calypsonians, folklore troupe members, and others, vaccinated to participate in carnival activities.
“Our biggest challenge if you have to ask me right now is getting in entertainers, Folklore Troupes, Calypsonians, traditional stakeholders who make Carnival; getting these individuals on our stage for Carnival because of the fact that so many individuals in the entertainment industry are not vaccinated, and it’s the biggest challenge,” said Shannon Hawley, Chair of the National Carnival Committee during the November 20 broadcast of Inside the News.
“We cannot even find a full folklore troupe that is vaccinated. We cannot find a host… It is really, really difficult for us at this point in time. It is literally causing sleepless nights because we cannot find individual troupes or groups who can be a part of National Carnival who are fully vaccinated.”
Despite that struggle, Hawley’s outlook on Carnival is heavily placed on making the 50th-anniversary one to remember.
The Chair also said she is hopeful of releasing a sub-calendar shortly with the fringe event carnival is known for as the committee has received several proposals for some of the fringe event facilitators and promoters, namely Cane Juice’s Cooler Fete, Glow Parade, Top Off Brunch, and Chatterbox.
The proposals, according to Hawley, all include protocols that are aware of the COVID-19 situation in St. Kitts and Nevis and will be put forward to the authorities for approval.
“We are looking forward to a supporting calendar that we can release with fringe events that are supported and promoted by the National Carnival Committee and could fall under our national Carnival events. [Because] we can’t do it alone, and we look every year for support from these event promoters, and we really hope that shortly we are in a position to have these events before the Task Force and the police force so that we could get some direction on what is next related to fringe events that surround Carnival.”
Hawley expressed that she felt that it was about time for the entertainment sector in St. Kitts and Nevis to get its restart.
“I think personally, and this is my personal opinion; I’m not speaking for anybody, including the Carnival Committee, that it is about time for us to open our events. We have event promoters who do this as a business; it is not just fun and frolic; they actually do it as a business. And I think that once they work closely in collaboration with the Task Force and the Police, that, you know, all the T’s could be crossed and I’s could be dotted and they can host events in a safe environment… I know that the Minister of Entertainment is working diligently in getting events back up and running. So I know she’s under a lot of pressure to do that, to get that done. I know it has to be in the realm of what is going on in St. Kitts and Nevis as it relates to COVID-19.”