The good thing about living on an island with two governments is that they must have two Carnival seasons and it is that time again for the French side to begin their fete, which starts on February 4 and ends on March 1.

I know it still seems far away, but an early pre-Carnival event will be held on January 28 in the Galis Bay village, during which a St. Martin band will be chosen to participate in “Battle of the Bands III” – a Sound Master’s event scheduled for February 24. Participating islands include St. Kitts, Dominica, St. Croix, Anguilla and St. Martin. Those who can’t wait for the fete to begin can start marking their calendar for the Battle of the Bands III showdown.

The 2017 French side Carnival Village will have 12 booth-holders: five of them are regulars and the other seven are newcomers. The containers in Carnival Village will be painted in Carnival colours to make them more presentable for revellers. Other highlights to look forward to are the Individual Costume Competition on February 18 and the Calypso Show with local calypsonians on February 21.

The St. Martin Carnival committee, Festivités Carnavalesque de St. Martin (FCDSM), is working hard to get you excited about Carnival 2017 and will be hitting radio stations, social media and newspapers to get the word out. A Calypso show has not been held on the French side for at least 10 years, but this year’s Miss Pitchounette and Junior pageants will be held on February 12 in Carnival Village.

As far as the parades are concerned, eight troupes have already registered for the children’s parade and six for the adult parade. “Seven Wonders of the World” is the theme for the children’s parade. FCDSM encourages the districts that have never participated in Carnival, or those that are thinking about making a comeback, to consider entering a troupe as the troupes are a very important instrument of Carnival.

FCDSM understands that it is difficult on the French side to put together a troupe and that it takes a lot of funds; this is why it is urging businesses and companies to get into the Carnival spirit by contributing financially to the troupes and giving back to the community. The organization wants the population to support the parades and all the events – not just the shows in Carnival Village. The more revellers there are on the road, the more beautiful the parade looks.

Make it your business to go on social media and look for the schedule, because French St. Martin Carnival is almost here!

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