In front of a large crowd on Saturday, the Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission (ABFC), under the auspices of the Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts, Daryll Matthew, launched the 2019 Antigua Carnival festivities.
This year, the ABFC styled the Carnival Launch as a two-part series, which included the first-ever T-shirt Mas Launch, dubbed ‘De Warm Up’ and the Official Launch Concert. This T-shirt Mas experience amassed thousands of revellers and spectators through the streets of St. John’s, which then culminated at the Official Launch Concert at Rising Sun Grounds in the evening.
Rising Sun Grounds was transformed into a festive and colourful hub with thousands of Carnival lovers enjoying everything that the 2019 Launch had to offer, including the onsite Kiddie Fun Zone and Festivals Village.
The main event, which was the Launch Concert, featured performances by Queen Thalia – reigning Calypso Monarch; G’eve – reigning Junior Groovy Soca and Junior Calypso Monarch; Empress – reigning Junior Jumpy Soca Monarch; King Vicious – reigning Junior Calypso Monarch; Tian Winter – reigning Jumpy Monarch; Ezzy Rattigan – reigning Groovy Monarch; Soca Diva, Claudette CP Peters; Menace and the Original Burning Flames.
Antigua’s Carnival 2019 – “The Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival” will take place from Thursday, July 25 to Tuesday, August 6.
Minister Matthew expressed that this year’s Carnival will see quite a few exciting changes that persons can look forward to. Some of which include the re-introduction of the Miss Antigua Queen of Carnival Pageant on July 26 and the restructuring of Carnival Monday into a traditional array to depict and highlight more of our Nation’s culture. In addition to this, the ABFC has finalized arrangements with mas groups in Guadeloupe, to partake in this year’s Carnival festivities, for the second consecutive year.
Director of National Festivals, Petley O’keiffe-Knight, hinted that the strategic marketing efforts undertaken by the ABFC has benefited our Carnival tremendously by placing it on a higher level regionally and internationally, and therefore, it is expected that visitor arrival, and participation in this year’s Carnival, will be significantly increased. As we shift gear to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival, the ABFC wishes to express a heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the Launch of Carnival, and your continued support will be sincerely appreciated as we move towards experiencing the greatness of Antigua’s Carnival 2019.