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February 23, 2018

Carnival in St.Maarten

Six International shows, 3 parades, a Family Fun Day, a Shaking Off Irma Night, Culture Night, Calypso, Soca Rumble..ITS ALL THERE

The schedules are out the events will be held in 2018 and included on the schedule a night called “Shaking Off Irma.”

“St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) released the official schedule of events for Carnival 2018 on Christmas Day. Describing the release of the schedule as a gift to Carnival-lovers on Christmas, SCDF erased all doubt that St. Maarten’s largest annual event.” Sometimes being part of two separate nations has its advantages. For starters, there are two Carnivals every year, and they’re held at two separate times: February on the French side and April on the Dutch side. As events go, Carnival holds special importance in the Caribbean, so preparations begin weeks before the day of the big parade. Just planning for these events brings together a large number of people, eager to take part in the celebration.  You can hear that joy in traditional Carnival songs: “Behind my mask, I do what I like. I am who I want to be.” Drinks, happy crowds, barely dressed men and women dancing in the street, music loud enough to blow an eardrum, that’s what all Carnivals consist of throughout the Caribbean and beyond. On the island, the dances are bold. The larger parades and especially the j’ouvert morning are best enjoyed by the adults. This is a time of wild celebrations. Famous Caribbean artists hold concerts – especially during the Dutch celebration – and residents hold exuberant dance competitions dressed in elaborate outfits with feathers, rhinestones and sequins.


Following the passing of Hurricane Irma, SCDF is determined to repeat the efforts of 1996 when one of the most successful Carnivals was held after Hurricane Luis. The Foundation released a schedule that features 27 days of Carnival events, including pre-Carnival events, with 21 days between the official opening of Carnival Village on April 12 and closing on May 2.

The schedule also features popular local events, including the Calypso Competition, Soca Rumble, Band Clash and Road March Competitions, three parades, a family fun day, Culture Night, Jouvert and more. SCDF also included a locally-themed free night called “Shaking Off Irma” and a US $5 Jouvert Aftermath event on the night after Jouvert Jump-Up, which is annually a very difficult night to host a large shows.


Reasons why its important to celebrate a carnival:

“It extends our high season, it drives business all over the island and touches almost every sector. It facilitates employment through many of our large contractors and service providers and it gives local entrepreneurs the opportunity to operate small businesses (booths) in the Carnival period.
The Carnival schedule was designed by Cleon Frederick of So Contagious Studios with major photography by Luca Zambrini.

Source: SXM Talks. “SCDF ANNOUNCES 27-DAY CARNIVAL 2018 SCHEDULE.” Sxm Talks, Daily Herals, 2017,


About the author, Dieter Schaede

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