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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture the hon. Shawn Richards has called for increased participation from the 2017-2018 National Carnival or Sugar Mas 46.

Speaking at the opening of the festivities last Friday at the Circus in Basseterre, Richards made the call for more involvement from members of the general public.

“Carnival is a time for us to get involved, get off of the side-lines and have fun. When I say that I am very serious about that. This year for Carnival we want to see more and more persons participating in the different activities.

He acknowledge that some individuals may be fearful of joining a troupe but implored to at least give it a try.

“I know some of you have a sense of fear about perhaps joining a troupe for J’Ouvert or even participating in a Carnival troupe. I once had the same feeling like many of you and the first time I did it, I enjoyed it and since then I continue to do it.

“Carnival, is about getting together with family and friends and have a great time, adding that we hope of delivering a product this year that allows you to do just that. We hope that the shows, the revelry, the pageantry and the artistry give all of us a great opportunity to have fun and play mas all over the town of Basseterre.”

Richards also hailed practitioners who are working hard to keep local culture alive.

“Carnival is also a time when we celebrate our culture. We have seen the rebirth of folklore over the last few years and we look forward to clowns, the masquerade, the bull, mockajumbie and I also understand that this year we should see the actors coming back.”

He also commended the hard work of the Carnival Committee who have been working hard to ensure the delivery of a quality carnival.

Chairman of the National Carnival Committee Noah Mills indicated that all that data reflected by the number of soca artist, the number of calypsonians, the number of revellers, the number of bands and other participants have increased.

“This suggest that persons are now more than ever understanding the very slogan of sugar mas 46.”

Mills also noted that the sponsorship has increased for this yeas carnival and is now more diverse.

“I remember in 2015 when we were first installed, our motto was aimed around partnership. And I take pleasure in reporting that this year, 2017, the number of sponsors, the diversity of sponsors, contributors and donors continue to increase.”

It was also announced that veteran musician, steel pan player and teacher Melvin ‘Mellie’ Hewlett will be featured as the patron to Carnival for his contribution over the years.

The theme for this years Sugar Mas Celebrations is: “Participate, Get in the Mix for Sugar Mas 46.”

Also on Friday evening saw the Female Calypso competition taking place with Kendra “Brown Sugar” Hutton a first time calypsonians winning with 392 points.

Karissa Willett, Miss Independent, a former Junior Calypso Monarch took first runner-up with 383 points while last year’s winner Lady Diva scored 377 points for second runner-up and the 3rd runner up spot went to Queeny G with 366 points.

Hutton’s song “Just another Day’ was a popular rendition amongst the audience as it highlighted the troubling crime wave that had been troubling St. Kitts and Nevis over the years.

The original article can be found here: http://www.thestkittsnevisobserver.com/local-news/richards-calls-increased-carnival-participation/

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