For some years now, the National Carnival Committee has been employing a program that identifies someone from the community who is deemed to have provided a significant contribution to the cultural development and preservation of Kittitians and Nevisians, especially at carnival time.
This year, the citizen who has been given the distinct honour is a veteran of carnival, Ms. Hyacinth Percival-Rawlins, better known in her community as “Baby”.
It was announced on Saturday 15th October, that the Committee had arrived at the decision to bestow the honour of Carnival Grand Marshall on “Baby” for her longstanding participation in carnival parade troupes. The announcement was made during the official launch of carnival, on Bank Street.
Ms. Reynolds is said to have been a regular in troupes organized by Janice Reynolds, Tota and Ashley Allers, spanning many generations of the island’s most creative mas-makers.
According to the Committee, every year, she has been seen creating a spectacle, out-fitted in colourful costumes, rubbing shoulders with and out-performing other carnival revelers, some young enough to be her great grand children.
Baby is describes as one, who on carnival parade day, and every day, is high-spirited and full of energy and life.
The 2011 Grand Marshall said she is looking forward to the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Carnival with great anticipation. She used the occasion of Saturday’s launch, when being introduced, to put on a display of some of her dance moves, much to the delight of those in the audience.
It is said that she has been playing mas for some 60 odd years. Though carnival has existed in St. Kitts National for more than 40 years, it was only in 1971 that the festival was nationalized by the government to become “National Carnival.”