St Catherine Carnival organisers excited about latest staging

April 06, 2023
Organisers and street promoters of St Catherine Carnival Treville Thompson (left) and Ian ‘Dappa’ Hopwood.
Organisers and street promoters of St Catherine Carnival Treville Thompson (left) and Ian ‘Dappa’ Hopwood.

Expectations are high for this weekend's staging of St Catherine Carnival on Saturday.

Following a promotional motorcade in Linstead on Tuesday, the organisers say they are looking forward to having up to 3,000 patrons inside the Dinthill Technical High School Sports Complex.

According to Ian 'Dappa' Hopwood, of Dappa Entertainment, who along with promoters Medz Rich Entertainment and Speedy Judgment Production, the parish has supported their events "and is long time St Catherine hasn't participated in a carnival like this".

Unlike other carnivals which traditionally have a j'ouvert paint party and a road march, Dappa said that St Catherine Carnival is more like a stage show which celebrates the fusion of soca and dancehall music. He also explained that the organisers of this year's edition are new and not part of the Carnival in Jamaica National Stakeholders Committee.

"Before us, someone else was hosting the St Catherine Carnival or a carnival in the parish. Since the entertainment sector reopened, new alliances have been forged and we have been hearing about Kingston and St Andrew's usual carnival road march, which inspired us to take the lead on the event. We want to carve out our brand and see how best we can contribute to the culture," Dappa told THE WEEKEND STAR.

"One of the reasons we had the motorcade was to give away complimentary tickets and phone credit. We didn't want our parish to be left out of the season and we are getting a head start by having it this weekend," he continued.

He said that although the carnival does not usually comprise of masqueraders in costumes or a march through the town, they are accustomed to seeing people dress in carnival-type wear.

"I don't think we will ever try to expand into costumes, not for now. But I can speak for everybody ... costumes or no costumes, everybody is excited especially for the artistes we have lined up. The energy will be just as hype," Dappa shared.

Some of the entertainers slated to perform are Kraff, Dovey Magnum, Delomar, Beenie Man and soca artiste Destra Garcia.

"Some of us are used to watching Destra Garcia on video and would know she is a queen of carnival and soca music, so we expect it will be a great show. We expect about 2,000 patrons but are prepared to welcome up to 3,000. I don't think we have had no major event like this since COVID-19 hit," Dappa insisted.

He also hailed the dancehall acts for the positive feedback and promotion on social media and is hoping more entertainers, especially those who reside in the parish, will show their support. "Everything a gwaan good so far, we just want our fellow St Catherine natives to come out and free their minds with some soca and dancehall performances and some of the best selectors," Dappa said.

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