Carnival declared open for the 60th Anniversary

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The Minister of Culture and National Festivals EP Chet Greene is calling on residents to not only have a “safe” but an “enjoyable” carnival as the 60th Anniversary celebration was officially declared open Friday night under the theme Celegrate greatness”.
Greene also called on residents to “let us demonstrate that in Antigua & Barbuda, carnival is like no place else in the world”.
In addition, the culture minister warned individuals who may have “ulterior motives” for this year’s festivities that there is a “plan for them”.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Festivals Commission, Maurice Merchant said this year’s celebration will focus on the “uniqueness” of the summer festival.
He also called on people to “do their part” to make the celebration great after fireworks lit the sky and the event moved from the opening ceremony into a free concert at Carnival City (Antigua Recreation Grounds).
Prior to that, the Acting Prime Minister Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin declared the Glow Opening Parade open, with the unveiling of a statue, made of mahogany wood by Cuban sculptor Osmany Perez, depicting a family clad in carnival costumes at Country Pond, Nevis Street. This was followed by loud cheers and explosions of fireworks over the city of St John’s.
The chairman of the Opening Parade, Paul Aflak, had said the event is expected to “round up support” for carnival 2017 and give a glimpse of what is to come for the rest of the season.
The parade featured colourfully lit floats, steel pan players, dancers on stilts, mas costumes and participants with various forms of glow sticks, which illuminated the streets.
The production is said to have cost government about $275,000.
Organisers said the floats would not have only been featured in the Opening Parade but will reappear at different times during this year’s festival.
The Glow Parade has been a relatively new feature to the summer festival.
The parade, which was expected to roll off at 7 pm, started just before 8 pm with performances by majorettes, cheerleaders, clowns and other groups at a viewing point in front of the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank (ECAB) on Redcliffe Street.
While, the actual parade left the assembly point, at the Corner of Sir Sidney Walling Highway (Factory Road) and Parliament Drive.
The parade went down Parliament Drive, then a right onto Queen Elizabeth Highway and after a right onto Independence Drive.
The floats and other participants of the parade then took a left down Redcliffe Street, then a right to Thames Street, a right up High Street and finally a left onto Independence Drive to culminate at Carnival City.
At the ARG, contestants in the various shows – queen and teen – as well as the finalists in the junior and adult Soca and Calypso competitions were brought on stage to give a preview of what’s to come after reintroducing themselves to the nation.

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