Patrons say 60th Carnival Anniversary could have been better

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Carnival 2017 ended on Tuesday after several days of mass participation of citizens, residents and visitors in a variety of parties, soca and calypso competitions as well as mas revelry by costume and t–shirt bands through the streets of the nation’s capital.
However, more patrons expressed disappointment to OBSERVER media than satisfaction with this year’s celebration and have concluded that not enough effort was made to mark the 60th anniversary of the festival to make it a success.
Patrons at Carnival City expressed their frustrations on Tuesday night as revelers made their final parade across the stage, before Last Lap celebrations.
“Carnival nuh inna nutten,” one man remarked as he described this year’s Carnival celebrations. 
A woman, who overheard him, said: “I think they did more last year when they were assuming it was the 60th, so a lot of people were very disappointed this year.”
 Late promotion of the 2017 Carnival, was a common complaint of patrons:
    “I believe they should market it early. It was too late marketing our Carnival this year for that big 60th,” one man said. “I hope next year we can start marketing maybe [in] January, February.”
Another man said, “Maybe they should have some pre-Carnival stuff that they start right after Easter and I think more advertisements need to happen.”
Other persons called for the authorities to “bring back the original flow of Carnival” where shows like the ‘Miss Antigua Barbuda’ pageant, formerly ‘Queen of Carnival’ were included in the Carnival schedule, rather than a month before the festival.
“They messing up the Carnival by separating a lot of things,” one woman said. “I believe Miss Antigua should come back in recreation grounds during the Carnival.”
One woman, who lives overseas and schedules her vacation just for Carnival, said: “I’ve been coming to Carnival for the last 10 to 15 years and I cannot see the queen show. It’s too early.”
Another woman said, “No more organisation is needed. Bring back the original flow of Carnival.”
People also expressed concern about what they say was a lack of participation of locals and visitors in Carnival events compared to past years. 
“I do not see a lot of visitors here for Carnival. It wasn’t that bad, but I’m looking forward for next year to be a bigger and better Carnival,” noted a female patron.
One father said, “I didn’t see much people like years gone by to say it was the 60th.  I thought we would have more participation by the people.”
However, some visiting revelers described this year’s summer festival as “amazing and vibrant”, but said that more could be done to inform tourists of activities happening during Carnival.
“If people weren’t playing with a band, they would need to know what is happening outside of Carnival City,” said a visiting reveler.
Her friend, who was also visiting and who participated in a mas band, expressed his disappointment in missing out on most Carnival events that he said he would have attended had he been better informed.
Another man, however, spoke positively about the Diamond Jubilee celebration and hailed the efforts of the police department to ensure safety during the events.
“We should give a lot of credit to the police and all the people who defended the wheel from the accident we had last year,” he said as he alluded to the premature end to the last lap session of last year’s Carnival due to a reveler being crushed to death by a truck in the Carnival parade.

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