Minister highlights the economic value of Carnival

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The minister responsible for Carnival has urged everyone to treat the national festival as a serious economic activity.
During the launch of a local mas’ band on Saturday, Minister of Culture and National Festivals, EP Chet Greene said that effort should be put into carnival as a means of sustaining the economy after the cruise ship season has ended.
“Too often, we see carnival in the context of a ‘joy whine’ instead of the economy of carnival which is very important. If you have not internalised that, let me help you to do so. As we enter the month of April, the tourism economy that we all know Antigua & Barbuda to be is tapering off for the winter season so now we have to find things to keep the economy going and to keep persons employed,” Greene said.
The minister noted that many people rely on carnival as a source of income throughout these upcoming months.
“This is not anything more than a part of that narrative where carnival now becomes the single largest economic activity outside of the traditional tourism season. It is where monies change hands — beverage suppliers, clothing stores, taxi drivers, food handlers, whole sale [sellers], traders make money,” he said.
Greene has once again highlighted the need for safety during the festival. He wants revellers and onlookers alike to be careful while having fun.
“Exercise caution on your way to Carnival, during the festivities and certainly after. I would like to do a head count when Carnival opens and at the end of Carnival, repeat the head count and declare that all starters are finishers,” he said.
This year marks the 60th Anniversary of Antigua’s Carnival. The opening is scheduled for July 27 and the festivities end on August 8 with Last Lap.

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