Politics Plays Havoc With Carnival Schedule

April 1, 2005 – "Carnival is alive in 2005," although struggling to make it.
Residents and visitors eager to participate in events will have to wait a while longer since the V.I. Carnival Committee decided to cancel its Ms. V.I. American Classic earlier this week.
The event, scheduled to take place Sunday, is a pageant for women over 50. It has been a mainstay of the V.I. Carnival since the event was added.
Athniel Thomas, public relations officer for the Carnival Committee, said Friday the event was canceled because the five prospective participants felt they did not have enough preparation time.
"We're now going to have a late start to this year's Carnival season," Thomas said.
Thomas said the short notice was due in part to proposed legislation from the Senate to remove the responsibility of Carnival from the Carnival Committee. Thomas said the committee felt it should not do any advance planning until the members were certain they would be able to continue to put on Carnival.
Caswil Callender, executive director of the Carnival Committee, said other changes have also been made. Callender said the Junior Calypso Monarch, which was to have taken place with Cultural Night April 22, was moved to 8 p.m. April 19, at the Lionel Roberts Stadium.
"What we have done is separate the two events," Callender said.
Callender said they had combined the Junior Calypso event with Cultural Night to save costs because of a reduced budget from the government. However, a private sponsor of the Cultural Night, Cruzan Rum, suggested they separate the events so as not to have alcohol ads at a children's event.
Latin Night, which also had been removed from this year's Carnival, has been reinstated and will take place on April 22 along with Cultural Night, Callender said. Belky's Promotions and Larry Sewer have agreed to sponsor the event.
"We're looking forward to having Latin Night become a reality," Callender said.
Callender said this is the first that there has been this sort of confusion.
"A lot of this confusion is because of the Legislature's political intrusion," Callender said. "I'm certainly looking forward to some degree of normalcy for 2006."
Callender said this year several cuts were made because of the committee's reduced budget, Affected were the coronation ceremony and water sport activities.
"These are activities that are very costly to the Carnival Committee," Callender said, because the events do not generate revenues in themselves.
The 2005 Carnival will now begin 5 p.m. April 10 with the Prince and Princess Selection Show at the Lionel Roberts Stadium. To view this year's contestants, click here. (See "Je'Quan and Marlyka, 2005 Prince and Princess Contestants").
"Carnival has a tremendous value to this community," Callender said. "I think it is only logical for the government to assist the Carnival Committee, which is made up of mostly volunteers, in every way possible."
Here is a schedule of this year's Carnival activities:
– April 10: Prince and Princess Selection show, 5 p.m. at the Lionel Roberts Stadium.
– April 16: Queen's Selection Show, 8 p.m. at the Lionel Roberts Stadium.
– April 17: Toddlers Derby, 5 p.m. at the Lionel Roberts Stadium; traditional games, 7 p.m. at the Lionel Roberts Stadium.
– April 18: Carnival at the Roy L. Schneider Hospital, 6 p.m., Hospital Lobby (First floor).
– April 19: Jr. Calypso Monarch Competition, 8 p.m., Lionel Roberts Stadium.
– April 22: Jr. Latin Night/Cultural Night 8 p.m. at the Lionel Roberts Stadium; Opening of Carnival Rides, 6 p.m. at the Fort Christian Parking Lot.
– April 23: Heineken Calypso Revue, 8 p.m. at the Lionel Roberts Stadium.
– April 24: Steelband Jamboree, 5 p.m. at the Lionel Roberts Stadium.
– April 25: Opening of Calypsonianville, 6 p.m. at the Fort Christian Parking Lot.
– April 26: Pre-Teen Tramp, 6 p.m. from the Rothschild Francis Market Square to Carnival Village; Senior Citizens' Quelbe Tramp, 8 p.m. from Market Square to Carnival Village.
– April 27: Cultural Fair – "Jambi's Marketplace" in honor of Lucien "Jambi" Samuel Jr., 8 a.m. at the Emancipation Garden.
– April 28: Roas-a-time (J'ouvert), 4 a.m. along Veteran's Drive; Coors Light V.I. Calypso Competition, 8 p.m. at the Lionel Roberts Stadium.
– April 29: Children's Parade, 10 a.m. from Market Square to Lionel Roberts Stadium.
– April 30: Adults' Parade, 10 a.m. Western Cemetery to Lionel Roberts Stadium.
This year's theme, "Carnival is alive in 2005," was submitted by Lynette Glasford. The Carnival Village will be named Calypsonianville in honor of all local calypsonians.
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