The Daily Herald writes that organizers for Saba’s 39th Annual Saba Summer Carnival Festival said that despite “erroneous” weather reports and other challenges, this year’s event met both attendance and cost expectations.
The festival, which included an expanded 11- day schedule of events, got underway July 24 and concluded on Sunday night with the ceremonial fireworks display and the burning of King Momo inside Carnival. Highlights of this year’s Carnival included Campa Flavour Night with Carimi Band from Haiti, Back in da Days night featuring Calypso legend The Mighty Sparrow, and Zouk Night featuring St. Martin’s Youth Waves Band and Oswald. Each of those nights drew 300 or more people and helped Carnival meet both financial and attendance goals.
“Overall I was quite pleased. We had some issues here and there because of the weather, but nevertheless everything went well,” said Dave Levenstone of Saba Cultural Foundation. “Here and there they may have been a delay in certain areas, but I think attendance as a whole cannot be looked at as being bad.”
Carnival 2014 also featured better-than-expected attendance at several events featuring local talent, such as the annual Carnival Queen Show themed “Taking Care of Our Own” honouring single mothers. The Saba Starz Talent Show on Saturday, July 26, and the Children’s parade on July 27, also drew better than expected numbers.
Reports of tropical storm Bertha headed for the area played a large role in smaller than expected attendance for events this past Friday at Saturday. The annual Calypso Competition on Friday and Saturday’s Grand Parade drew smaller crowds attributed to “erroneous” reports of severe weather heading toward the island.
“From the beginning I wanted to have five things where there would be something for everybody,” Levenstone said. “We wanted to have something for the youth, for local talent, for the seniors and for those in between, and we wanted to have the Queen Show and the Calypso Show. We were able to do all those things. “Weather had an effect last weekend. The band we had set to come in (Friday) couldn’t and that set us back. Saturday we came within just a few minutes of calling off the parade because there was so much talk. If I had followed the talk on the island, there wouldn’t have been any parade. Everyone was calling to cancel and said it wouldn’t be fair to the troupes. But at the end of the day, it still ended up being a good day. Sunday a little rain fell in between, but it was nothing bad or damaging.”
Levenstone thanked the lead sponsors for this year’s Carnival along with SCF Board members, who played a significant role in organizing and overseeing the various activities. “I want to thank Chippie for sure. Without them this show would not have happened,” he added. “They helped everything get off the ground and they played an integral part in the success. They paid the artistes and the bands. They paid for everything, and I would like to call on others to do the same next year. It’s one thing to sponsor, but it’s even better when you can take full charge of the night. “I would also want to personally thank the Island Government of Saba. They were an important sponsor, along with Saba University School of Medicine, Satel, My Store and Heineken St. Maarten. Of all local businesses, I especially want to thank My Store. They helped on several levels, and they played a role in making it all possible.”