French St. Martin carnival bigger and better

POSTED: 02/12/13 12:14 PM

St. Martin – Most would agree that after witnessing the children’s parade where eight troupes participated and the adults’ parade with five that the Carnival festivities on the French side are getting bigger and better.

However, the winners in the respective categories will not be announced until the completion of the Last Lap just before the traditional burning of King Mou Mou. The participation of a large group from the Dominican Republic, the Indian Merchants Association and a 30 member group from the Survivors (Dutch side) added to the vast diversity on the French speaking side of the island.

Once again, it was a riot of colors and splendor at the assembly point on the road leading to the port in Galisbay, the energy levels as extremely high and the excitement could be felt among the hundreds who had invested and waited for that day to come.

At the front of the extremely long procession were the newly crowned Miss Elegant Plus Size and the other contestants that vied for that prestigious title. The Locomotiv Dancers, ‘Coco an Nou’ Our Coconuts, were appropriately dressed in straw skirts, matching head pieces and brown tops decorated with coconut trees.

The corporation between the Carnival committees on both sides of the island was emphasized with participants from the Dutch side who were strategically positioned behind.  A 30 member guest troupe from the Survivors Mass Camp, attired in green and red also made its presence felt and those pieces as designed by Jasmine Phillips.

Fully attired in their national colors of red, white and blue, another group representing the Dominican Republic added another musical dimension to the proceedings and that group included small children who never missed a beat, this group was also bridging the cultural barriers.

For the first time on the parade, it was an all French affair when ‘Hot & Spicy, (Les Joyaux des Caraibes) Jewels of the Caribbean, hit the road. The colors were vividly illustrated in a series of intricate designs which left a fair amount of skin exposed under the glittering fabrics.

Moving in time to the pulsating rhythm that emitted from the sound systems on the trucks was one aspect all the participants looked forward to and so did the thousands that lined the route to catch a glimpse as they passed by.

For the second straight year, a group representing the Indian Merchants on the French side under the theme, ‘Gems of India’ managed to attract lots of attention dressed in their traditional cultural wear and dancing to their own music. But even this group could have related to the very popular ‘Gangnam style’ music and they were catching on fast.

Kathy Rollande Questel attempted to make a statement in the individual category as a ‘Navajo Bustle Dancer’ and bringing up the rear was ‘Amicale’ ( Le Retour des Masques) The Return of the Masks. Within that troupe, creativity and color schemes had no boundaries.

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