Director of Carnival, Teddy Francis, is pleased with the outcome of this year’s carnival, telling the Times that the event went extremely well.
Francis admitted that there were early concerns about the slow momentum because of the scheduling of elections which were held on June 6, 2016.
He asserted however that the carnival was successful both at the level of the local participation and the quality of the various art forms that were on display.
Francis told the Times that Saint Lucia is growing in importance as a carnival destination.
He disclosed that the number of visitors to the event appears to have been a record.
But he said carnival organizers are awaiting confirmation from the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.
The Carnival Director observed that the police had made a call to stop the J’ Ouvert early.
He expressed the view that the wisdom of the call can be debated, but made it clear that no one is not questioning the police since they are the ones on the ground.
Francis said Saint Lucians generally have to commended for the fact that there have been so few incidents with thousands of persons gathering every year for the event.
“It was far from a case where an isolated incident marred the celebration,” the Carnival Director declared.
He noted that there were a number of private events associated with carnival.
“The private events are growing bigger and bigger,” the Carnival Director observed.
He asserted that Saint Lucia Carnival is now poised to take off.
He said what is important is the year-long treatment and attention to the festival.
“We are heartened by the announcement by the new government that they will in fact be doing that – the secretariat will be full time and year-long and the commitment by the new Prime Minister that he will provide resources to bringing an end to that disparity between jazz and carnival,” Francis told the Times.
He explained that carnival has for some time been seen as the poorer cousin to jazz, both financially and in terms of resources.
“There has been a clamour from the entire carnival fraternity to give just and fair treatment to carnival as the premiere cultural activity and we are very encouraged by the statement that carnival – in the words of the Prime Minister, will be seen as the premiere festival for the promotion of Saint Lucia; the cultural marketing tool,” the Carnival Director stated.
He said that as a result, the “indecent disparity” between carnival and jazz will finally come to an end.