Icons of St. Maarten carnival to be honored this Friday

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Minister of Culture Silveria Jacobs has disclosed that a ceremony will be held on Friday to honor the icons of St. Maarten Carnival. “We will be honoring them on Friday upcoming, right here in the Claude Wathey Legislative Hall for being the initiators (of carnival),” Minister Jacobs said. “It all started with the former, late Lt. Governor Reinier Van Delden.”

The function will posthumously honor those who were the originators of the first festival over four decades ago, including the only remaining person credited for the creation of carnival on St. Maarten, Jocelyn Arndell. Arndell, Alexi Arnell (then chief of public works) and Johan Dykhoff (Chief of finance), Minister Jacobs traveled to St. Thomas on a fact finding mission, leading to the development of carnival in St. Maarten.

The first eight booth holders (alive and posthumously) will be honored as well.

She said in looking at the recently held carnival festivities, many have questioned if carnival is holding true to cultural values and traditional norms of St. Maarten.

She explained that this function is designed to honor and celebrate the traditional cultural values of the largest festivity on St. Maarten.

“Though we do expect that changes happen, we would like to see that proper behavior, morality; that we do not become accepting as a society of things that we know that is not necessarily know as part of our culture,” Minister Jacobs said.