Carnival pioneers honoured during 2015 season opening

The 2015 Carnival Season in Saba was officially opened with a balloon-lit jump-up and music entertainment by Grand Masters Band from St. Kitts on Monday night.

With music provided by Saba’s Entyce Band, Carnival revellers make their way down to The Bottom. (STK photo)
With music provided by Saba’s Entyce Band, Carnival revellers make their way down to The Bottom. (STK photo)

Opening night again saw a large turnout like the pre-Carnival shows over last weekend, which is an early indication of continued positive turnout for the remainder of the week.

“This year’s slogan “40 Years Still Jamming Strong” says it all. No matter what organizational changes this island event has gone through the past 40 years, the goal has always been to bring our community, along with our visitors, together for days and nights of great music, socializing and fun,” Saba Festival Foundation President Standford Johnson said in his opening statement.

“Mother of Carnival” Carmen Simmons was honoured with a crystal award as a “Pioneer and Culture Icon.” Simmons started Carnival on Saba in 1975. “It is like a dream. I still remember the first year, and I am blessed to still be here at 40 years,” Simmons commented.

From left: 2015 Road March King Cirilio “Daddy Slim” Martin, Carmen Simmons, Culture Commissioner Bruce Zagers and Bob “The Man Bob” Morgan open the gate to Festival Village, marking the official opening of Saba Carnival Monday night. (STK photo)
From left: 2015 Road March King Cirilio “Daddy Slim” Martin, Carmen Simmons, Culture Commissioner Bruce Zagers and Bob “The Man Bob” Morgan open the gate to Festival Village, marking the official opening of Saba Carnival Monday night. (STK photo)

She also recognized her first board members Roy Smith, Guy Johnson, Raymond Hassell, Joe Hassell, David Johnson and first Carnival truck driver Bennett Hassell.

Also presented with a crystal award was Saba Lions Club, which took over organizing Saba Carnival for many years. “We still remember their period of organizing Carnival as the golden years,” Johnson stated.

Commissioner of Culture Bruce Zagers congratulated the Festival Foundation for putting together what he called a “spectacular schedule.”

The week’s events continue tonight, Wednesday, with “Reggae Splash – Dancehall Invasion” featuring dancehall artiste Cecile from Jamaica and S.M.S Band from St. Maarten.

The Miss Dutch Caribbean 2015 pageant will be showcased on Thursday night with contestants from each of the six Dutch Caribbean islands.

Latin night “Reventon Latino II” will take place on Friday, featuring Junior Zaa from the Dominican Republic, Mr. Codigo y Alexjota and DJ Urena from St. Maarten and DJ Daddy Slim from Saba.

Jouvert Morning will be held Saturday, followed by day one of the grand parade. Small Axe Band from St. Kitts will be the night’s entertainment following the parade. Day two of the grand parade, which will also conclude the 2015 season, will take place on Sunday. The North Sound International Band will entertain revellers following the parade until the burning of King Momo.

Source: The Daily Herald.

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