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Sep 6, 2017

Carnival leaders promise revelry, not rivalry

Today, carnival band leaders, police and representatives from the National Celebrations Committee and the Belize Carnival Association converged at the Bliss Center for the Performing arts to sign a carnival safety declaration to ensure public security during the 2017 road march. It is the forty-second anniversary of carnival in Belize and the competitive spirit has sometimes spilled into violence. The declaration binds band leaders and their respective revelers to keeping the peace throughout the festivities, particularly along the carnival route from Caesar Ridge to the Marion Jones. This decision came following an incident at the sporting complex on Saturday night for the King and Queen Competition. Unsportsmanlike behavior between supporters of two senior bands led to fighting, in which several persons were injured and threats of further violence were made against a particular band along the route of the parade. An emergency meeting on Monday has band leaders coming together requesting peace on the road. The band leaders agree that safety must come first.

 

Audrey Bradley, Band Leader, Soca Moca

Audrey Bradley

“Just want everybody, the public to know that like Mister Vernon said, our safety is first. I just want to make the whole Belize know that there is no fighting among us; we are family….all the carnival groups. If we be safe, the public wah safe; so I just make everybody know, please make we have wah safe carnival day the ninth of September.”

 

Kadejah Tun

Kadejah Tun, Representative, Belizean Jewels

“On behalf of Belizean Jewels and the other senior and junior carnival bands, we would like to plead to the public to let’s just calm down because carnival is one day out of the year that you can completely get lose and be yourself and we don’t want to stray away from that because come on it is only one day. And keep in mind that as adults, if anything should happen we know what to do; the kids, they are young, their parents put them out there for them to have fun and we don’t want to ruin that. As much as it might sound bias or bougie—as young people might say—sorry Mister Vernon, but carnival is what makes September, September. I mean twenty-first is there and tenth is there, but everybody looks forward for carnival. It brings so much to the economy and we definitely don’t want to lose that.”

 

Sandra Mahler, President, Belize Carnival Association

Sandra Mahler

“It is a time for us to enjoy ourselves; it is a time for us to go out there and show Belize and by extension the world, what creativity we have in our people here. After the incident, we immediately had a meeting where we were able to meet and deal with the situation and assure the public today that we are coming down the road in peace, in unity with everyone. So we don’t want any of the revelers or family members or anybody out there who may be planning to hurt anybody carnival day, let’s out that aside. We have very young children out there who will display their culture on Saturday.”

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