It’s been 1,086 days… It was bad enough having to wait 365 days.
Who could have guessed that when the music stopped and trucks packed up at the conclusion of Carnival Tuesday’s las lap jam in 2019 the most painful tabanca ever was about to descend. By the time we were ready to do it all again, we were facing one of the most unyielding pandemics the world has experienced: Covid-19. For two painful years, revellers just had to sit back and watch what should have been their time to shine being eclipsed by the microscopic virus they nicknamed ‘The Rona’.
Tourism minister Hon Dr Ernest Hilaire took to the press in March to announce the green light had been given for Saint Lucia Carnival 2022. The minister went on to say that “life goes on… It was inevitable for people to release some stress, as they gradually come through the curfews and lockdowns that were regulated to deal with this global crisis.” Major stakeholders – including Events Company of Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and the Cultural Development Foundation – have joined other corporate entities to come on board for the festival. On 29 March, the schedule for Saint Lucia Carnival 2022 was officially launched online.
This year will see the return of many of the most popular fetes and shows, including the ever-popular Colour Me Red, hosted by pre-eminent carnival band Red Unlimited, and U4RIA or ‘U10’ from Saint Lucian soca artist Teddyson John and TJP (the Teddyson John Project). Other favourites on this list are Famalay, Remedy, Soak’T, Mess and a plethora of boat rides even… Vice.
This year revellers can also count the crowning of new kings and queens, as events co-ordinators assure us that the National Carnival Queen Competition, National Calypso Monarch Competition, and the Groovy and Soca Monarch Competitions will return.
Of course, the events that all die hard carnival-lovers have been anticipating most keenly are the Monday and Tuesday Parades of the Bands or, as they say, ‘Mega J to Mega J’.
Ever since Carnival 2022 was announced, carnival bands have been coming out of their hiatus. Many of these bands, including Just 4 Fun, Legends, Island Tribe and Red Unlimited, have already launched and have given eager bacchanalists a chance to preview an array of vibrant and colourful costumes.
More bands may still come, and as we draw closer to the return of everyone’s favourite time of year. Carnival 2022 will surely prove that the 1,086-day wait was not in vain.
Saint Lucia Carnival… Nothing sweeter than that!