by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Will Sugar Mas 50 happen this year?
At least in the way we are accustomed to, no masks, no social distancing, and no restrictions on the capacity of an event?
That was the question posed to Shannon Hawley, Chairperson of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Carnival Committee during the April 28 edition of Island Tea on WINN Media (98.9FM).
“Every day we see new changes, most recently… there were some changes… [the] reduction in quarantine and the sporting events being allowed to have spectators, as well, I saw that the government is giving consideration to events in general from July… once vaccinated, you can have events for fully vaccinated individuals, patrons, production team, etc. … We’ve been, of course, part of the discussions; part of the debate, we’ve been getting all the word, you know, in terms of encouraging people to go and vaccinate… we realize that the only way we can have a, “normal” type of Carnival; what people are accustomed to, is if we have that “herd” immunity, and the way things [are going]… the question is will we have that herd immunity by October when we are ready to open up,” Hawley explained.
Whether or not we reach “herd” immunity is still unknown especially with the expectation of opening in October of this year.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws in her remarks during “Leadership Matters” on April 27, said, “If we continue at the present pace it will take us a few years to achieve this goal and our economy would be decimated by then…”
Suggesting the October reopening is unlikely.
Some 20,000 people in the federation still need to take their first vaccination shot in order for the federation to meet that “herd” immunity.
The likelihood of the reopening fully by October has not stopped the national carnival committee from moving forward. Hawley reported on some of the moves made so far, including the confirmation of the contestants for the National Carnival Queen Pageant.
“But what I can say, which is exciting… is that behind the scenes we are continuing to work hard as a committee, to ensure that we have at least the shows. We have already selected our National Carnival Queen pageant contestants. We have already selected [them] and they have been notified. We have already selected our National Carnival Swimsuit Contestants, and we have already selected [what] was formerly the GQ competition which is now the Mr. Sugar Mass contestants… the selection process [for the shows] has been completed, at least from that end.”