Your only destination to all things CARNIVAL
Grenada’s 35th carnival season is officially underway, after the launch of Spicemas 2016 on 2 April. Masqueraders in fancy and traditional costumes, as well as moko jumbies on stilts and jab jabs painted in black oil, joined top local soca artists to showcase the various elements of the festival. Also included were a parade of the contestants in the National Queen Show and a performance by reigning Panorama Champions Republic Bank Angel Harps.
Senator Brenda Hood, Minister of Culture, emphasised in her feature address the importance of Grenadians understanding and preserving their culture, beginning with the children. “The time is perfect for us to venture into the school system and motivate the teachers, especially those teaching art, to open up the doors and expand on the creative energy that is within the minds of our youngsters,” she said.
Hood said that her ministry will be developing “a comprehensive approach” to training, which will see schools participating in Spicemas in the future and scholarships being made available in carnival studies, performing arts and cultural studies. She singled out Kelvin Jacob, a young national Grenadian studying carnival arts in Trinidad & Tobago, for high praise, saying, “We are looking forward to great things from this young man.”
Kirk Seetahal, Chief Executive Officer of festival organiser Spicemas Corporation, said his team were “energised and ready” for carnival. He said the earlier-than-usual launch was vital to begin preparations early, because of the high number of components involved.
Seetahal invited feedback from all stakeholders, particularly the public about how the Corporation can improve the festival,, saying “As CEO of the Spicemas Corporation my train of thought remains, ‘What can we do differently and better? What can we do to take the Caribbean’s premier summer festival and our organisation to the next level?’”.
The Spicemas launch was followed on 3 April by a celebration of the steel pan at the Pan Xpressions competition, won by Angel Harps.
Carnival lovers can look forward to a number of fetes and competitions during the season. The highlight events will be:
* Children’s Carnival Frolic - Sat 30 July
* National Queen Show - Thu 4 August
* Soca Monarch - Fri 5 August
* Panorama - Sat 6 August
* Dimanche Gras - Sun 7 August
* J’Ouvert/Pageant/Monday Night Mas - Mon 8 August
* Parade of the Bands - Tue 9 August
* Last Lap Event - Sat 15 August