CDC green-lights abridged version of Carnival
A section from Blondie Bird and Friends winning presentation for Vincymas 2023 Photo credit (Robertson S Henry)
Front Page, News
July 5, 2024

CDC green-lights abridged version of Carnival

“The show must go on.”

An “abridged version of Vincymas” is how the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) said it was proceeding with 2024 carnival festivities this weekend.

Hurricane Beryl struck St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) on Monday, July 1, 2024, causing several private and CDC events to be cancelled or postponed. However, the CDC events scheduled for Saturday July 6 to Tuesday July 9, will proceed.

Therefore the Ragga Soca and Soca competitions, Dimanche Gras and Mardi Gras remain on course for July 6, 7, and 9 respectively.

The cancelled shows are the Junior Calypso and Junior Soca Monarch competitions, Junior Panorama, and Steel and Glitter.

“The impact of Hurricane Beryl has been significant. Many households and livelihoods have been lost and will take years to rebuild. We join with the countless Vincentians and others who have pledged their support to assist with rebuilding and providing immediate assistance to all who have been affected,” the CDC said in a press release.

The release added, “in a year where Vincy Mas was earmarked to be one of the largest in years, from the number of events, expected visitors and increases in prize monies, we are cognizant of the multiplicity of factors considering the way forward. Of significance to us are the optics of continuing with the festival, amidst widespread devastation to the Southern Grenadines. Further, we considered the significant loss of revenue amidst the cancellation of flights and investments made by stakeholders.”

The CDC said based on discussions with the components of Vincymas and Cabinet, the decision was made to proceed with the “abridged version” of carnival.

“We believe all stakeholders are in a unique position to leverage Vincymas to provide support, whether through financial or in-kind, to assist the countless persons affected by Hurricane Beryl,” the CDC release further stated.

Private promoters also have issued a release stating that where possible, scheduled events should be held “but now, with a dual objective”. These objectives are, “to give the best possible experience under the circumstances to our patrons” and, “to facilitate relief donations, canned goods, bottled water, and other pledges through special booths at events”. The release from “the key private event stakeholders” of SVG, carries the logos of 18 promoters. “We understand and acknowledge the importance of culture and carnival to St Vincent and the Grenadines. However, our utmost priority lies in the well-being of all Vincentians, particularly those severely affected by Hurricane Beryl’s devastation,” the promoters said in the release.

“While significant time and resources were invested in ensuring patrons could enjoy what was primed to be the best Vincy Mas experience ever, we remain mindful of the concerns and hardships we now face as a nation,” it added. The promoters felt that the decision taken on how they will proceed has struck a balance.