(ZIZ News) — The mood has been set for Sugar Mas 44, as the annual St. Kitts and Nevis National Carnival officially got underway on Friday evening.
The ceremony, held at The Circus in Basseterre, also saw the launch of this year’s slogan and jingle which were won by Zarielle Blanchette and Mr. Bagnall and Pinocchio respectively.
In his launch address, Minister of Culture, the Hon. Shawn Richards said Sugar Mas is a time of celebration.
“It is a time we welcome our returning nationals and celebrate with them after another year of hard work, building and contributing to the strengthening of our beloved Federation from without and within,” he said.
“We welcome the many visitors who accurately timed their arrivals to get a chance to share in the richness of our culture as they sample our culinary treats and dance with our masquerades to the rhythm of our string bands and dance, jam through the typically busy streets to the pulsating bug drum beat,” he added as he invited everyone to participate in Carnival.
“As we look around us, it is clear to see that St. Kitts and Nevis has changed as the world has become a more global village. No longer is St. Kitts primarily but one ethnic group. We have embraced many new citizens and residents that bring skills, culture and value to our small island developing state. For Sugar Mas 44, we want to extend a welcome to the now varied ethnic groups and nationalities to celebrate with us,” he said.
Minister Richards also outlined his expectations for this year’s festival and called on members of the private sector to show their support.
“We want to see a greater assortment of troupes for this year’s Carnival, more people, more unique themes, depictions of socially relevant messages, culminating in the spirit of oneness and family,” he said, adding, “I therefore take this opportunity to extend an invitation to the private sector to sponsor a troupe, a contestant, a soca artiste or calypsonian.”
The winning slogan is “Revel like never before for Sugar Mas 44” and the winning jingle is titled “Get Mad”.