St. Kitts and Nevis, along with the other seventeen represented nations, took part as CARIFESTA 14 in Trinidad and Tobago opened in grand style with a spectacular production Friday night, Aug. 16.
Each represented country parading across the huge stage in spectacular colour display, to the roars of thousands in the audience as the opening show paid homage to the musical wealth of the region — reggae, calypso, soca, tribal anthems, chutney — as each participating territory of CARIFESTA was introduced with music affiliated to it.
All were welcomed to the host country by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, who said CARIFESTA is an ideal platform to continue the advocacy for regional integration, adding the spirit of unification will lead to ascendancy from CARIFESTA to the entire Caribbean to the international stage.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister for Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Hon. Dr. Nyan Gadsby Dolly, said CARIFESTA is the embodiment of the Caribbean reality — a melting pot of unique expressions, and CARICOM Secretary General Edwin LaRoche shared similar sentiments as he challenged delegates to further showcase our distinct Caribbean footprint.
As the prelude to the official opening ceremony, St. Kitts and Nevis and the other delegations stood out in a ripple of colour as the iconic Queen’s Park Savannah Avenue, in Port of Spain, Trinidad, was transformed into a river of brilliance.The splendour, dance and musical energy of the CARIFESTA parade was compared to the glory of Carnival.
The St. Kitts and Nevis delegates danced, pranced, waved flags and sang, while being accompanied by various musical instruments such as drums, horns and fife, to the parade square.
Trinidad and Tobago music stars, inclusive of Destra, Olatunji, Nailah Blackman, Raymond Ramnarine and David Rudder, punctuated the opening ceremony, indicative of how music and dance have transcended island boundaries and bridged regional people.