The national parade and official opening for Carnival 2019 is set for January 19, 2019 under the theme ‘Carnival is a sizzling explosion.’
Marva Williams of DFC said on radio that one of the reasons for coming up with the theme was the desire to take the focus off Maria.
“… Hurricane Maria will always be in our minds and our tongues but in terms of what we offer to the people we are inviting to come to Dominica, we have to stray away a bit from the negativity and we decided that this year will be a year of celebration and it’s a year to present Dominica in an extremely big way. So, Dominica’s carnival will be a sizzling explosion of colour, of pageantry, of calypso, of costumes, of traditional ole mass and all the little elements that make up our carnival,” Williams explained.
When asked why the parade was taking place so early, Williams noted that there is a packed calendar of events from January to March and from the opening, there will be an event every weekend which is an element of carnival leading to the two days of celebrations.
Williams continued, “Dominica’s carnival is part of the Discover Dominica Authority and it is a product that is being sold to people overseas and we’re asking them to come to our country and I remember in meeting with stakeholders and members I said what exactly is the purpose of the national parade and official opening and one of the feedback I heard is that it’s a means of enticing people to come to Dominica’s carnival and we are faced with the reality. It is not easy to get to Dominica. I mean we have issues with access so it is wise to give people some time to plan.”
She added that while an opening carnival parade for local patrons might be appropriate two to three weeks before, in order to entice people from overseas, it is necessary to give them some time to plan “and that was the thinking behind having the national parade and official opening a little bit earlier. So, we believe that it is good to sell it as a product and that product will entice people at least to come down the week leading up to carnival Monday and Tuesday.”
According to Willaims, the parade will be categorized into different elements of carnival including the pageantry, the traditional ole mass such as the Sensay, the Lapo Kabwit and the Souswel Souwi so as to depict to the uniqueness of Dominica’s carnival.
The parade will have a contemporary component to the parade to include flag wavers, costume bands, advertising floats and electronic bands.
The DFC official said the need to continue to celebrate our tradition as a country remains at the core of the 2019 Mas Domnik celebration. However, there’s something extra this year.
“In 2019, as our theme says, we have to explode in terms of what we offering, an explosion that does not forget our tradition but continues to tell the world that Dominica is alive and well, we have progressed and look at how much we have progressed in terms of what we are offering,” Williams explained. “We are just offering the elements of our carnival in a bigger way that signifies the uniqueness of what Dominica’s carnival is all about.”
She said assistance is available to traditional groups in terms of transportation for those who live far out of town and also those who require assistance to get their material and accessories.
She invites those interested in participating in the parade to register than they can visit at the DFC office on 5 Great Marlborough Street Roseau (former Marpin building), to fill in the registration forms, the forms can also be accessed on their website at www.dominicafestivals.com, the form should be downloaded and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org after it has been completed.