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A Green Masquerade performs on the festival stage in December 2019. (DiscoverMNI Photo)

Montserrat to Host Community Festivals in December

A Green Masquerade performs on the festival stage in December 2019. (DiscoverMNI Photo)

The Montserrat Arts Council is taking the Annual December festival to the communities this year.

In his latest edition of From the Director’s Desk, Director of the Montserrat Arts Council Kenneth “Rabo” Silcott said given all of the challenges of 2020 “yes we should be having a carnival. Our people deserve it. We need to celebrate our very existence and accomplishments.”

Silcott has dubbed the plans for the event which will run from December 19, 2020 to January 1, 2021 “Community Festival Celebrations”. He added that festivals act like stress relievers and help to balance our emotions. “It is also a way to inject funds in our economy. The economic and social benefits for holding festival are huge.”

The director said artists, bands, masqueraders MCs, videographers, audio techs, bars and restaurants are among those affected when there are no festivals.

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The MAC envisions that over the two weeks, from Salem to St. Johns there will be calypsonians performing in the community, along with masquerades, string bands, live bands and dancers It will also allow for vendors, restaurants and bars to open within their community.  On the nights when there are no major activities, there will be Festival Village limes with music provided by the council in an effort to keep the area vibrant.

Calypso competitions will be modified with only elimination and final rounds. There is to be a soca monarch competition and the MAC has squashed their earlier plans of hosting a virtual Regional Female Calypso Show. Silcott said it was more important to keep the funds local and the show will be replaced with a King of Kings Calypso Monarch show with past kings and queens competing for the ultimate title.

There will also be a National Domino Competition and Market Day will return for the second year. Carol Singing will take place at a yet to be determined venue and the annual New Year’s Day Parade will most likely take the form of a motorcade across the island.

COVID-19 protocols established by the government will be used. Silcott expects that they will offer handwashing stations, hand sanitisers, social distance markers, masks, and conduct random temperature checks.

Visit the Montserrat Arts Council page on Facebook for updates.