The end of the year is fast approaching, which means that Sugar Mas – carnival in the twin-island nation of St Kitts & Nevis – isn’t far away.
Pre-carnival activities started on Monday 7 November with the opening of the FaceTime MUA Challenge. Make-up artists based in St Kitts & Nevis can create looks via photos posted on their Facebook or Instagram pages in two categories: Folklore Fusion, based on aspects of local folklore, and Avant Garde, described as exotic, high fashion, unique and innovative. The competition closes on 21 November, and there’s a cash prize of EC$2,000 for the winner of each category.
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the carnival, which started as a platform to offer local people an opportunity to showcase their talents and encourage healthy competition among artists. It has developed into a full-blown tradition, which is held annually throughout December.
Over the years, the carnival has increased commercial activity in St Kitts and Nevis thanks to the influx of tourists flying in to take part in the events and share in the festivities. In 2022, the Covid-19 pandemic led to some restrictions being placed on the scope of the carnival, and activities were scaled down. This year, though, represents a return to joyous normality and there will be a full calendar of events.
Under the slogan ‘Celebrate as One for Sugar Mas 51’ there’ll be a packed programme of activities both before and after the official opening ceremony on 2 December. Fetes and limes, award ceremonies, calypso and soca monarch competitions, steelbands panorama, folklore, a funfair and fashion shows will all lead up to J’Ouvert morning (26 December), the Grand Parade on Monday 2 January and Last Lap on Tuesday 3 January. What a way to see in the New Year!
Amongst the mas bands taking part in Sugar Mas are DFX, Luxe Carnival and newcomer Nauti Mas. The first platinum sponsor is Azul Printers and Carib Brewery Limited holds the slot for the gold sponsor for Sugar Mas 51.
To see the full Events calendar or for more details, go to: skncarnival.com.