By Loop Caribbean:
ith the theme “Experience Greatness – Again!”, the Ministry of Creative Industries and Innovation (MCII) launched Antigua’s 2022 edition of Carnival on Thursday night, rich with vibrant cultural performances. CLICK HERE TO JOIN WHAT’S APP GROUP
The much-anticipated launch, after a two-year hiatus of the summer festival due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was staged at the historic Dow’s Hill Interpretation Centre and was punctuated by vibrant displays of the country’s culture.
Minister with responsibility for festivals Dr Michael Browne told those gathered that while “there are 50 countries across the world celebrate carnival but there is none like the ‘greatest summer festival’ – Antigua’s Carnival.
Browne also challenged residents to look towards “the reigniting” of the spirit of Carnival through this year’s festivities.
He expressed the hope that cultural performances by some of the country’s leading soca and calypso performers to include Tian Winter, Claudette ‘CP’ Peters, Jahsan Hughes, Dennise ‘Menace’ Roberts, Althea ‘Queen Althea’ Williams and Richie Francis.
The minister also acknowledged the difficulties in planning this year’s event with the threat of the spread of the Covid-19 virus still looming.
“Putting on Carnival this year has been a challenge and it has been a challenge primarily because we still wonder is covid gone? Is it going? Is it coming back?… we are still at that tipping point of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he warned. “On behalf of the Ministry of Health and the government of Antigua and Barbuda, I do encourage you to take all the necessary precautions that you can to keep yourself safe.”
Residents have been keeping an eye of plans for this year’s festivities amid warnings that the relaxation of the country’s Covid 19 protocols could be reversed with a spike in active cases of the virus.
At present, there are 175 active confirmed virus cases in the twin-island state.
The launch ended with a parade of rhythmic steelpan and iron band music, masqueraders, stilt walkers and fire breathers, along with other cultural fixtured during the summer festival.
Organisers have changed this year’s lineup, opting for a list of pre-carnival and main events.
The pre-Carnival events include a Band Meet Band showdown on Friday, July 22; T-shirt Mas on July 23; a Car Show and celebration honouring Sir McLean “King Short Shirt” Emanuel, on July 24; and a Teen Rave on July 25.
The country will also see the staging of Drue’s Day on July 26.
Carnival officially gets underway on July 27 with the official opening and the Jaycees Caribbean Queen Show.
Other activities on the calendar include Melting Pot, Calypso Monarch Competition, Panorama Competition, Party Monarch, Watch Night Celebration, Emancipation Day, J’ouvert, Culture and Cuisine, Carnival Monday, and the Parade of the Bands and Last Lap on August 2.
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