officially one month into Saint Lucia’s carnival season with 23 events behind us and four more taking place today: the Just For Fun Cooler Fete, Hooked, the Roseau Valley Carnival Queen Show and the Dennery Carnival Queen Show. The Minister of Culture, Fortuna Belrose, used the opportunity at Monday’s pre-cabinet meeting to provide administrative updates: “We are happy with the decentralization thrust that happened this year. Most of the communities have come through with their scheduled events. A few of them have held their queen shows and their calypso tents.”
Thus far, the Soufriere Carnival Queen Show, which was held on June 16, saw Ann Cecile Thomas walk away with the coveted crown. Other champions of the season include Schools’ Calypso Competition winners Kishana “Baby K” Smith of the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School with her song “Lord Help Me” composed by Mac Stephen, and Venus “Lady Venus” Edward from the Anse La Raye Primary school with a song composed by Gregory Lawrence.
During her Monday address Minister Belrose also drew attention to concerns regarding the relocation of the National Carnival Queen Pageant from its usual venue, the National Cultural Centre in Castries, to the Royalton Saint Lucia Resort & Spa in Cap Estate.
“I think, for the first time, the show is completely sold out,” she revealed. “There was a concern that we had taken it from the public but I think, given the work that was done to elevate the standard of the show and ensuring that we got all the vibes right, there’s nothing wrong in us saying next year we can take it back into Carnival City where there would probably be a greater appetite for the Queen Show. In recent times the numbers supporting that event had dwindled. I think what we’ve done is created a new standard, a product that people now want to be a part of.”