J’ouvert is Back! Carnival Chair explains “Bubble J’ouvert”

By MyVue.com Staff Writer

Basseterre, Friday, 12th November, 2021, (MyVue News.com)-When it comes to carnival in St. Kitts & Nevis, there is no other event that attracts attention and participation, like J’ouvert Morning, which is usually held on Boxing Day, (26th December).

The excitement and unique style of revelry that is generated by this event are superior to other experiences around the world.

J’ouvert is therefore one of those “must-have” activities when it comes to the compilation of a carnival calendar.

However, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the hosting of most carnival events, including J’ouvert, which was relegated to a “closed” event, limited only to 150 patrons…quite a drop from the thousands usually on the streets, come J’ouvert Morning.

But this year, according to the Chair of the National Carnival Committee, Shannon Hawley, J’ouvert is back!

It may not be the (exact) replica of past years, but revelers will certainly have the opportunity to jump and prance, just as they have done for the past 50 years of Sugar Mas, as the carnival is now known.

Hawley said that for 2021, there will be a “Bubble Jouvert”.

“To be clear, Bubble J’ouvert concept is not new,” remarked Chairwoman Hawley, during a live radio and television interview on Wednesday, 10th November, 2021, to officially launch the Calendar of Activities.

However, while Hawley said it was not a unique concept, it appeared to have been a new idea that many did not understand or were curious about, and Bubble J’ouvert attracted much national attention, with citizens taking to social media with their concepts of what they thought would be the format of the event.

But Hawley, in a jovial fashion, reacted to the social media posts by saying, “I have seen the memes. It was as though no other activity was on this (year’s) carnival calendar, except that Bubble J’ouvert. Nobody wanted to hear anything about any other event, other than Bubble J’ouvert.”

Still, with a smile on her face, Hawley further pointed out, it is “Not bubble as if you (are) going in a bubble; not bubble ball; not a bouncing bubble; not a bubble in the bath; not that kind of bubble, Hawley jokingly stated, remembering the many creative memes that were circulated, earlier in the week.

The Carnival Chair explained that as a result of COVID-19, there have been several Bubble J’ouvert events hosted around the Caribbean region and internationally.

The concept she said, will see this year’s J’ouvert hosted in a central location and not in the streets of Basseterre, “…in a secure venue, featuring as many of the local talent as possible, similar to what we had last year.”

“We had a taste of J’ouvert last year, (and) we featured over 15 artistes and bands…”

“The intention (in 2021) is to ramp it up and feature even more. An event that will go (on) for hours in a secured, huge, spacious venue,” stated the Chairwoman.

To further paint the picture of what to expect, Hawley disclosed that “It will be like a massive fete in a huge outdoor venue, catering to a number of live individuals, in person.

This is not a virtual event, this is an event for live bodies to come and enjoy themselves.”

She said the committee is going to feature many bands and artistes, “just like what you would experience on the road; but the twist is, you are experiencing it in a stand-up venue.”

L-R: Carnival Chair, Shannon Hawley, ZIZ Radio Personality, GCue

Hawley said they are currently looking at various venue options, but the final decision will be determined in collaboration with the COVID-19 Task Force.

“And that is the best of the best that we could have come up with, on the fact that, even though sometimes we forget, we are in the middle of a pandemic, and we have to ensure ultimately that our revelers are as safe as possible, and that we are following the protocols put in place to protect us, by the COVID-19 Task Force.”

This is something that has never been done before, said Hawley, but patrons can expect the setting to be similar to a massive fete, with lots of bands, soca artistes, music, food and the usual carnival jump-up.

She also hinted that permission might also be given to private event organizers to host their own versions of a bubble J’ouvert activity. Hawley said they will be continuing discussions shortly with event organizers and other stakeholders to finalize a calendar of fringe events.

The Bubble J’ouvert is scheduled to take place this year on Monday, 27th December.

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