Pre-mature ending to Unity didn’t prevent revelers from uniting in fete

Caption:Approximately 7,000 people took to the street on Saturday night.

A pre-mature ending to the Unity Jump-Up on Saturday night didn’t stop approximately 7,000 people from having a good time as the warmed up for the French Carnival activities.

The Unity, as it is popularly known, did not proceed to French St. Martin due to the absence of French law enforcement who indicated that the French Carnival committee did not secure the proper permits for the road event.


After this became apparent, the Dutch side Carnival foundation SCDF (St. marten Carnival Development Foundation) took the decision not to cross the border as their French counterparts could not guarantee safety and security for revelers. The Unity came to an end at the Bellevue border monument.

However, the event did kick-off and progressed smoothly through Dutch St. Maarten with significant police escort and presence. It started at 7:50pm before the official starting time of 8:00pm. Two band bands accompanied the Unity, Official Band from Dutch St. Maarten and Power Band from French St. Maarten.

President of the SCDF Mike Granger said revelers had themselves a great time from Philipsburg to Cole Bay, which in itself is still quite a trek. He said the collaboration with French counterparts remains strong, but stressed that the Unity must span both (and equal length of route) sides of the island for it to really be a unifying event.

"Our people unified on Dutch St. Maarten this year. Our brothers and sister from the North came over and we jammed together on this side. So in that sense we were very unified on Saturday night," Granger said.