By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts
-A Caribbean Carnival Pageant, a Carnival Village and electronic scoring for judges are some of the new initiatives on tap for Sugar Mas 45.
Speaking exclusively with The Observer, Chairman of the National Carnival Committee Noah Mills revealed some of the new features the public can expect for this year’s festival..
“One of the new events will be a Caribbean carnival Pageant,” he said. “We would have done our research and realized there is no queen pageant around the Caribbean that is a regional pageant during Christmas. Additionally there is no Pageant that highlights the carnival of Specific Countries as a tourism product so we designed a pageant around that for Dec. 17. We already have 10 different countries signed up.”
He said organizers will also re-established a Carnival Village that would provide daily entertainment throughout the Sugar Mas 45 season in Basseterre,
“That is going to be at the Circus where there will be a stage and entertainment throughout the day and night time where vendors, visitors and all sorts of people can have all the entertainment in the world and enjoy the excitement,” he promised.
Another new feature will be an adaptation of electronic scoring by judges during the major competitions that would speed up the time in which the final results of each show are delivered
Mr. Mills said, “We are working toward having electronic scoring for judges for all of the major events. We are keen on improving on the overall quality for all of the events and the overall carnival product. There are times where there is a lull when judges and tabulators after scores have been submitted are tabulating and ranking. So we are working with a local expert to build a platform that will allow it to be instantaneous.”
Mills added that another suggestion from the public is to cordon off space on the streets for the troupes for the Parade or for Jouvert to be increased for safety.
“They were also suggesting ropes being held to separate revelers from spectators and that is something we are seriously considering this year for the safety of all of those involved,” he said.
“The preparations are going on point. The official launch for carnival is expected to be Nov. 18 in the Circus in Basseterre. On that evening we will have a brief ceremoy and the randomization of sponsors and assigned to specific participants and contestants. The National Carnival Committee will be hosting and fully funding two calypso tents, one by Legend and one by Proud Sounds,” he stated.
He said steps had been taken to speed up the registration process that has seen a bump in past festivals.
“For Calypso registration we are tremendously impressed with the increase in numbers including the return of King Socrates, Star-shield, Phonsie and although he has registered we have more reason to think the great King Konris will be participating this year. The soca registration numbers are also up,” he said.