This year’s edition of the ‘Caribbean’s greatest summer festival’ promises to be bigger and better than ever. And to prove that, the Ministry of Creative Industries has turned things up a notch for the launch of Carnival 2023.
Communications officer in the ministry Monifa Browne said the April 15 launch will begin with a special edition of a popular Carnival event.
“We are going to have a T-shirt mas’ starting at 2 o’clock. We are going to start on old Parliament Drive…we are begging that all the patrons, all the masqueraders, everyone come on out decked in your old T-shirt mas’ paraphernalia,” she told state media.
The starting point is at the old House of Culture on Parliament Drive. The Parade will turn right onto Queen Elizabeth Highway, right onto Independence Drive, left onto Redcliffe Street, right onto Thames Street, right onto High Street, up Factory Road and right onto Parliament Drive for the climax.
Browne said that right after the “jump up” residents can enjoy a showcase of Antigua’s culture in the form of “a series of storytelling, our elements of mas’, everything basically that surrounds our Carnival,” as well as musical performances.
The concert will feature appearances by Carnival 2022 winners and one of the evening’s highlights will be the début of Queen of Carnival 2023 contestants.
A $4.2 million budget has been set for this year’s Carnival celebrations, an increase from the little over $3 million in last year’s allocation.
The festival is scheduled to take place from July 27 to August 8.
According to Minister of Creative Industries Daryll Matthew, in 2019 a plan was drafted in consultation with officials from the Festivals Commission to recreate a Carnival product that truly differentiates Antigua and Barbuda’s festival from others around the region.
One of those avenues, Matthew identified, is through mas’. The Department of Culture alongside world renowned mas’ designer Chandy Lewis will work with the schools in creating their own costumes.
A full line-up of the Carnival schedule is expected to be announced at a later date.