Press Release – For the first time in 58 years, Montserrat’s annual Carnival will be hosted as a virtual and local community experience, from Saturday, December 19th 2020 until Saturday, January 2nd 2021.
Montserrat’s annual Carnival is a multi-day experience, which celebrates the island’s music, pageantry, heritage and culture, and it is one of the most anticipated end of year carnivals in the Caribbean, usually drawing thousands of attendees during the Christmas season.
However, as a result of the global pandemic COVID-19, for the first time in a very long time some annual events like the Miss Montserrat pageant have been cancelled, and the Calypso and Soca Monarch shows and the new King of Kings show are going to take place, but they will not be hosted in the Carnival Village. Instead, the events will be relocated to the Montserrat Cultural Centre (MCC), in an attempt to adhere to the COVID-19 recommendations issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS).
Nevertheless, to accommodate the Carnival Village’s resident booth owners, to assist them with generating some revenue and to create a Carnival vibe throughout the season, the Montserrat Arts Council (MAC) will be assisting with the hiring local DJs to host nightly Village Limes.
Additionally, instead of hosting all of the annual festivities in the North of the island, the MAC will be hosting a series of Community Carnivals (in Salem, St. Peter’s, Cudjoe Head and St. John’s) that will feature performances from the calypsonians vying for this year’s crown, dancers, masquerades, steelpan and more. So that revelers can come out and have a good time, but in a controlled and sensible manner.
In order to reduce the threat of the community transmission of COVID-19 at the MCC, in the Carnival Village and at the Community Carnivals, the MAC has been working with the MoHSS to develop a COVID-19 Events and Gatherings Readiness plan, which includes (but is not limited to) the following:
● Using multiple entrances and exits to discourage crowding in waiting areas;
● Reconfiguring parking lots, limiting congregation points and ensuring proper separation;
● Ensuring that all Booth Vendors are aware of and following all food hygiene and health and safety protocols;
● Allowing for social distancing before, during, and after each event (public cooperation is required);
● Changing the seating layout or availability of seating (where applicable), by blocking off rows or sections so that attendees can stay at least 6 feet apart;
● Installing hand washing stations;
● Supplying face masks and hand sanitisers;
● Carrying out random temperature checks; and
● Installing an emergency station that will be managed by a qualified nurse or health professional at each location, just in case someone gets sick.
The draft schedule for Montserrat Carnival 2020, will be released to the public very soon.
We hope to see you all in good health and in person again for the traditional Montserrat Carnival 2021!