Carnival lovers, revelers, visitors, people of St. Maarten
What a momentous occasion we are about to celebrate! 40 years of playing mas, 40 years of Carnival on St. Maarten. Our little cultural gathering has blossomed into an iconic festival that can boast its own uniqueness among the Caribbean’s elite cultural festivals. An explosion of colour, music, revelry, and creativity, St. Maarten’s Carnival is a beautiful example of how Carnival can unite a people. On our small island paradise, the traditions of many cultures come together for an incredible two week period each year to use Carnival as a dynamic tool of self-expression to celebrate life!
This year more than ever, the people of St. Maarten can reflect and be proud of how far our Carnival has come. There are literally hundreds of individuals and organizations that deserve the honor of recognition for the role they’ve played in developing St. Maarten’s Carnival. 2009 gives us a chance to celebrate those people.
To all stakeholders and Carnival foundations over the years I extend many thanks for your commitment. Your efforts and sacrifices re-enforced what Carnival means to us. It is an indescribable feeling that mere words cannot easily express. It is about family. It is about our own little city within a city that we call Carnival Village. It is about the excitement on our children’s faces as a parade goes by. And yes, it is about that longing for more when the festivities come to a close.
It is up to us as a people to protect our Carnival by being equal partners in its continued development. The cultural and economic significance are enormous. I hope that this 40th anniversary will highlight the benefits that Carnival brings to the people of St. Maarten and will act as a catalyst to encourage all, public and private sector to invest in the next 40 years.
So on behalf of the government of St. Maarten, I wish everyone a happy, clean and safe Carnival 2009. Let us all enjoy this vibrant celebration of diversity, colour and sound.
Cheers to 40 Years!