Statia preparing for 2021 local Carnival

The troups definitely stepped up their game this year and wowed many spectators with beautiful colors. Photo: Alida Francis
Statia preparing for 2021 local Carnival
Photo: Alida Francis

Oranjestad, St. Eustatius – The Public Entity of St. Eustatius met recently with key stakeholders and has decided that Statia’s 2021 Carnival will be organized by the St. Eustatius Carnival Committee under strict local conditions and guidelines. One of the main conditions is that Carnival will be a local affair showcasing local artists. Parties further agreed that instead of the traditional 10 days Carnival 2021 will be reduced to 7 days. The planning and execution of the island’s largest annual cultural event is further contingent on the COVID-19 situation on the island. St. Eustatius is currently free of COVID-19.

Stakeholders will continue working on refining a Carnival strategy to ensure that all the safety procedures are in place at the Mike van Putten Youth Centre the venue for Carnival. In addition to the safety regulations focus will be placed on implementing strict hygiene measures and protocols. Hand sanitizing stations and additional toilet facilities will be put in place. There will further be an extra strict control on all quarantine locations.

Statians living abroad and friends of Statia in high-risk countries are advised that if they do plan to visit the island for the Summer holiday to ensure they make known to the Public Entity their interest to visit by sending their exact travel dates to Visiting Statia only for the carnival will not be possible. Vaccinated persons will have the 5 days’ period where they are not allowed to attend events. More details will follow later.

During the course of this weekend the Carnival Committee will release its preliminary programme. “The success of Carnival 2021 depends on how well we as a Statian community work together to maintain our island COVID free. It has been a long year and together let us share this responsibility in order to restore normal life. As a Carnival Committee, in close collaboration with our key partners, we are up to the task”, says Marlon Hook, President of St.  Eustatius Carnival Committee”

Stakeholders involved in preparing for the 2021 Carnival include the St. Eustatius Carnival Committee, St. Eustatius Lions Club, St. Euststius Musical Foundation, and the Task Force in which are represented, Public Health Department, Caribbean Netherlands Fire Brigade, Caribbean Netherlands Police Force, and the Deputy Government Commissioner with responsibility for the portfolio of Culture.

Statia’s 2021 Carnival is scheduled for Monday July 26th until August 1st, 2021.  The Task Force has advised that no permits for large super spreader events should be issued in the month leading up the start of Carnival.  “2020 has been a challenging year. We have had to cancel Carnival and several other mayor cultural events. One year later we know more about the COVID-19 virus. We must however, bear in mind the virus is still around with different variants popping up. As a small community we must therefore remain vigilant in order to protect the most vulnerable among us. As we attempt to gradually restore normal life, we must do this in a responsible manner”. Alida Francis, Deputy Government Commissioner.

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