SCDF dedicate Carnival 2015 to Peterson, Franca, Derby

POSTED: 02/5/15 6:43 PM

The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will dedicate Carnival 2015 to three “giants of Carnival” across different facets of Carnival. The foundation will continue a practice started three-years ago by dedicating every Carnival year to persons who have contributed to Carnival in their own unique ways.

The SCDF will pay tribute to long time parade reveler Ryan Peterson, veteran concert promoter Clarence Derby and Keith Franca, a person the SCDF describes as one of the “founding fathers” of the Carnival foundation and someone who saved St. Maarten Carnival some years ago. “These three men are more than deserving of our gratitude for how they have helped to build the Carnival product,” the SCDF said.

The SCDF described Peterson as a constant and dedicated reveler for years and the embodiment of the Carnival spirit. “Come rain or shine, Ryan showed that Carnival is what you make of it. It’s a time to live life, be free, have fun and revel in all things Carnival. To this day he is still a big Carnival lover and supporter,” the SCDF said.

As for Derby, the SCDF hailed him a promoter, and at times advisor, that simply wanted to see Carnival develop into a premier festival. “Clarence also saved stepped up a few times when we had holes in our schedule to fill and assisted the foundation in too numerous ways to mention. He is a promoter who has brought world-class artists to a very small concert going community and is still doing so. This is no small feat considering the complexities of this market. We appreciate his dedication to St. Maarten’s Carnival.”

Keith Franca is a former top official of Carnival who along with some other dedicated persons literally saved Carnival in the 1980’s. Today he remains a trusted advisor in all things Carnival as he has been for 35 years.

After experiencing financial difficulties in 1983, the Carnival Committee was on the verge of cancelling Carnival. Franca, then of the Kiwanis Club was called upon for assistance, and the entity known as “Task Force” was born. He was joined by Anselmo Scantlebery, then of the Jaycees Club. This “Task Force” was the for-bearer of the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation.

“We cannot shower Keith with enough praise for his passion of the festival. Though he stepped out of the limelight, he remained very active behind the scenes with Celeste Beauperthuy and others. Today we can still (in fact we do) call on Keith for advice. Much of who we are is because of Keith Franca,” the SCDF concluded.

The three honorees will receive their due recognition on the night of the Calypso Finals in Carnival Village.

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