Organizers of the 2019 Jamaica Carnival are gleefully celebrating what they are calling the most successful Carnival ever in Jamaica and quite possibly the region.
Soca and Calypso took over Jamaica for the weekend as local and foreign revelers provocatively dressed, danced and pranced in the streets with little or no inhibitions.
Paul Matthews, one of the directors of the Carnival says the Jamaican Carnival is so successful because of how well they treat the patrons.
“We have grown like 30 per cent with at least 60 per cent of foreigners making up that figure. Our island is beautiful and in comparison to Trinidad, we have more hotel rooms that’s why Jamaica carnival is growing at this rapid pace,” Matthews said.
In agreement with Matthews is Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett.
“Jamaica Carnival has been a growing phenomenon and as it builds, it’s driving more economic activity in Kingston primarily. This year is the biggest we’ve ever had, and Saturday night I was at one particular hotel where 40 rooms were taken just by one group out of Canada, and what we’re seeing at the airport in terms of arrival patterns is a big spike, and this weekend is going to help the month of April for us to be a very huge April,” Bartlett told a Jamaican news outlet.
Like the thousands of Jamaicans who visit Trinidad yearly to enjoy that Carnival, many Trinidadians were also in Jamaica having a great time. One common sentiment was that although Jamaica’s carnival is not as big as Trinidad’s in term of size, it was equally enjoyable in terms of vibes.
“Trinidad is bigger, so it’s more complicated, but in Jamaica it’s more intimate, so you can actually have fun with your friends,” said a Trinidadian visitor.
Culture and Entertainment Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange said she can’t believe how fast Jamaica Carnival is growing and the event surpassed even her wildest expectations.
“The crowd participation at this year’s carnival surpassed my expectations. I must say congratulations to the organizers and the various bands. Jamaica needs more of these big events to further enhance our reputation as a ¬country of culture and entertainment, and Kingston, in particular, with its designation as a UNESCO Creative City, is truly coming into its own as an entertainment Mecca,” Grange said.
“People had fun today, and we demonstrated that we can party in numbers and keep our people and our environment safe,” Grange said.
The only negative about the Jamaica carnival is that it is set up in such a way that only major corporations and many of them foreign based get to enjoy the financial benefits of such huge event. Miss Grange says this is something she hopes to see change in the future.
“As Carnival grows, I would like to see more inclusiveness in that the jerk chicken man, the peanut man, the ordinary man and woman may have more of an opportunity to share in what is a major -economic space,” she said.