“What we have is something that has grown over the years,” Charlemagne said. “Carnival in St Lucia is the next one after Trinidad and Tobago, how can we let down the people? We cannot let down the people. It’s the people in the end who decide whether there will be carnival or not. If St Lucians say they want carnival, no one can stop it. You have the support of government, the prime minister, the ministers, and all the people who make carnival happen.”
On Sunday Charlemagne took the opportunity to congratulate “all who’d arranged to have us have a launching of carnival today”.
“The guarantee I want to give you, is that the guarantee has been given to me, that CDF is ready this year, more than they have ever been ready before,” the minister said. “I want to point out one person in particular, Adrian Augier who’s coming in as the newly elected chairman of the Carnival Bands Association at a time when his organizational talents, managerial and artistic talents will do well to help the CDF [and other persons involved in carnival.] We are sure 2010 carnival will be the best you have experienced.”
After the minister spoke carnival bands including Toxik, St Lucian Spirits, XS Energy, Rituals, Royalites and others made their individual appearances onstage, but larger bands like Red Unlimited and Just 4 Fun did not participate in Sunday’s costume display. The Soufriere carnival queen contestants were introduced at the event, as were the contestants for the National Carnival Queen Pageant. After their introductions it was time for live performances by Calypso and Soca artistes. Performers included Ricky T, Ilah Man, Q Pid, Super Man HD, Alpha, Invader, Saralee, Dycer Fontelio, Blaze, TC Brown and Herb Black.
Word is that a number of Soca artistes turned down offers of much lower performance fees this year but it has not been confirmed whether that is directly connected to the nonappearance of some popular acts. Despite the drama in the planning aspects of carnival this year, it was clear patrons did not intend to waste their time or money spent on the event, and even at points where it seemed rain would wash away the show, St Lucians partied in high spirit, no doubt already bitten by the carnival bug!