The cancellation of this year’s Carnival altogether (see related story) is no big surprise. Moving the celebration to – for example – July as suggested under the present circumstances was not advisable.
There continues to be just too much uncertainty about the duration of the current COVID-19 crisis and its future global impact on the economy in general and particularly travel, also considering the preparation required for St. Maarten’s biggest cultural happening. Especially after the memorable 50th anniversary edition in 2019, holding a scaled-down version the following year isn’t exactly an attractive option either.
Doing so during the school vacation may have the advantage of not interfering with classes, but many residents also tend to be on holiday off-island at that time, which could affect both participation and spectator attendance negatively. In addition, it’s the hurricane season then and although most related weather activity usually takes place between August and October there have been significant early storm systems before.
Readers should note that one troupe had already pulled out due its inability to source materials from the usual suppliers in China since a month ago. It’s unclear how and when that situation will normalise.
Booking musical acts from abroad might have been a challenge as well during the summer. The latter is why – for example – the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival (CNSJF) 2020 was cancelled too.
Let’s face it, a host of activities and events considered important for a variety of reasons by large groups of people are being called off left, right and centre worldwide, often with no known alternative date. That is simply the nature of the beast referred to as coronavirus.