SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) introduced the contestants of its four pageants last week, is preparing to do the same for the Senior Calypso Competition and other cultural events and recently stressed that none of it would have been possible without the understanding and cooperation of its corporate partners and service contractors over the last two years.
“The last two years have been beyond difficult for us in every way. The misconception of many is that once Carnival is over, so is everything else. But our commitments remain, we still have monthly obligations and Carnival related multi-year agreements to live up to. Without Carnival for two years, the foundation had to become creative to meet those obligations as well as count on the understanding of our partners to survive,” President of the SCDF Alston Lourens said.
Lourens added as a result of Carnival not being held for 2020 and 2021, the foundation had to meet with almost all of its partners and contractors to discuss existing multi-year agreements and how they would be fulfilled in the absence of Carnival. “We even had to relocate our office to a smaller unit, thank God for an understanding landlord,” Lourens said.
“We engaged our corporate partners, we restructured, renewed and in some cases extended existing multi-year agreements with major financial and operational implications. We secured cooperation for this year and beyond and we are forever grateful that everyone maintained their confidence in the product and realized that it was in the best interest Carnival and its stakeholders,” Lourens said.
Next up for the SCDF will be the roll-out of its local cultural events for Carnival 2022. These include the Senior Calypso Competition, the opening of Carnival which will feature several local bands, Steel Pan Explosion, a showcase of Legendary Carnival Bands, Culture Night, the Soca Monarch Competition, the Village Cook-Up and more. The promoters of the international nights will also start rolling out their respective events.
“We missed our local events the most and we are excited to start promoting them. The response to the introduction of the pageant contestants has been overwhelming and we are looking forward to the same response for all of our local shows,” Lourens concluded.