~ Inspection of trucks Wednesday ~
The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) is revving up the engine of Carnival 2011 and will host the Unity Jump-Up, first event on the Carnival calendar, this Saturday, March 19.
The popular "fete" will start at 8:00pm at the border monument at the Cole Bay/Bellevue border crossing, make its way down Union Road, over Cole Bay Hill (AJC Brouwer Road), Bush Road, over the Prins Bernard Bridge, Walter Nisbeth Road (Pondfill) and end at the St. Maarten Festival Village.
So far three bands have confirmed their presence for the jump-up: 4M Band, reigning Band of The Year No Limit Band and Official Band. Other bands are invited and encourage to participate to "make this first event of Carnival 2011 one to remember," President of the SCDF Stuart Johnson said.
Johnson stressed however that all band trucks must be inspected and pass police and Fire Department safety regulations before being allowed to participate in the jump-up. As such, an inspection of all trucks and trailers will take place upcoming Wednesday at 5:00pm on the section of the ring road across from Rima store on the Pondfill.
"We take safety very serious, there will be zero tolerance and no compromise when it comes to safety of not only Carnival revelers and onlookers but for the band members themselves," Johnson said. "We have met with emergency services and law enforcement separately and we will be meeting with everyone collectively on Monday to finalise all details for the jump-up.
"All bands will be provided with safety regulations in writing. Those who do not abide, by regulations and instructions, will simply not be allowed into the jump-up. So we urge all bands that intends to be part of the jump-up to make sure their trucks and trailers are present for the inspection on Wednesday," Johnson said.
The Unity Jump-Up, though somewhat shorter this year, is also in keeping with the SCDF’s fun initiative of taking the jump-ups to the districts. The opening jump-up on for Carnival will start on April 25 at the Milton Peters college in South Reward while the closing on May 3, will start at Madame Estate.
"So we will bring Cole Cay and Cay Hill alive with the Unity Jump-Up and, as usual, have a blast doing it. Traditionally the Unity event started on the French side when it was our turn to host the event. However, French authorities indicated that they’ve been having some trouble with the jump-ups on that side of the island so we will start at the border," Johnson said. "Neverthelss, this will still be a good work-out in preparation for Carnival 2011. Nothing stops the fete!," he concluded.