Minister Duggins anticipates increased tourist arrivals and overall participation in Sugar Mas 53

The Sugar Mas 53 calendar of activities has finally been launched, and with a packed schedule of well over 50 activities planned over a four week period, expectations for this year’s national Carnival are high. 

Following the recent launch of the carnival calendar, minister with responsibility for the annual festival, Samal Duggins said with the work the Carnival Committee has put into planning this year’s event, he expects numbers to far exceed the 11,000 visitor arrivals last year’s carnival attracted.

He credited the growth of the festival to the quality of the productions, particularly those centred around young people.

“Last year, in particular, we saw the largest ever Junior Calypso show that was held at the Marriott, and that brought out a bumper crowd at the Marriott last year, not to mention that the talent was at an all time high, but we also saw the growth of events like Panorama, which has now become more or less one of the top carnival shows. 

“Steel pan is now one of the top shows for national carnival, and I must mention here that 90 percent of the people in those bands that are participating are young people and that’s worthy of every credit in the world. Steel pan is making this emergence again as a top tier event in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“And I can’t go on without talking about a national Talented Teen Pageant. We’ve seen that pageant grow, we’ve seen it blossom, we’ve seen the talent coming out of our high schools, and we could all say that this has been a pageant worthy of preparation every year, year after year, considering the last two years,” said Minister Duggins.

The 13th December 2024 to 2nd January. 2025 festival will be held under the theme, 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 – 𝐒𝐮𝐠𝐚𝐫 𝐌𝐚𝐬 𝟓𝟯. An extensive array of ancillary events will also be held around the official carnival activities. These begin on 30th November, 2024 and conclude on 4th January, 2025.

Soca fans were thrilled to learn that the Groovy Soca Monarch competition was returned to the line up after its absence from Sugar Mas 52.

Meanwhile, registration for the festival’s many competitions and events has been overwhelming, according to chair of the Carnival Committee, Shannon Hawley.

“This year, we have launched our early registration for SugarMas and it was extended up until May 10, and what we saw again was record numbers in terms of our registration. We have had over 11 j’ouvert troops registered, some new. We have had the return of all of our major Pretty Mas, as we call it, carnival bands including Lux, Ultra, Zeus, Novali. 

“We’ve had the return of our clowns, as the minister said, catering to thousands of participants. We have six pan groups registered, steel bands.

“We have over 50 participants registered for our senior Calypso competition and over 30 registered participants for our Soul Commander competition. 

“So, we are well ahead of the game in terms of our preparation for the upcoming Sugar Mas 53,” Hawley said.

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