CASTRIES, St. Lucia – As the coronavirus spreads across the Caribbean, the government of St. Lucia has taken the decision to postpone this year’s carnival until 2021, Caribbean National Weekly reports.
This year’s event was to be held from July 15 to July 22, this summer. St. Lucia’s carnival will now be held in July 2021. In a press release, the government detailed their decision.
St. Lucia has three (3) confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of March 27.
Read the government’s statement below:
Taking full account of the economic and public health implications associated with the spread and containment of COVID-19, the Government of Saint Lucia held several consultations with representatives of the carnival community, regarding the best possible strategy for Carnival 2020.
In so doing, the Government sought a broad consensus which would serve the best interests of the festival’s presenters, promoters, participants, producers and partners. It was generally agreed that the global environment was still highly unpredictable and that nothing should be done which would compromise local efforts at containment.
• International travel restrictions
• Competing regional events
• Reduced disposable income of patrons
• Availability of Government funding for Carnival 2020
• Availability of sponsorship support
• Preservation of brand and product standing
• Carnival Stakeholders responsibilities.
Considering these issues, the Government of Saint Lucia, while recognizing the cultural and economic importance of the festival, has decided that it would be in the best national interest if Saint Lucia Carnival 2020 is postponed to July 2021.
In keeping with this decision, the St. Lucia Carnival Bands Association has agreed that its members will present their 2020 portrayals in 2021, and indicated that pre-paid purchases, deposits, and other similar payments will be honoured. Individual stakeholders are expected to communicate directly with patrons and revelers regarding the rollover to 2021.
Consistent with this decision, the Government of Saint Lucia will continue to monitor the global and domestic situation with a view to staging alternate events later in 2020 which might create economic opportunities for affected carnival producers. Meanwhile, the Government urges all Carnival Stakeholders to take full advantage of the extended lead time in anticipation of an enhanced Saint Lucia Carnival experience in 2021.