Message for upcoming St. Maarten's Carnival 2015

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Carnival has and will continue to enrich the lives of the people of St. Maarten and the visitors who frequent our shores for the occasion. It is the ultimate time of the year, when our nation stands out the most in the world.

Passionate frolic and fun is what we experience during this season and for that, we are thankful for the tireless efforts of everyone who is working so hard behind the scenes to make this possible.

We encourage and trust that the festive spirit will be displayed during this season of Carnival 2015. Remember the world is observing and embracing our unique and priceless culture.IMG 0331

However intense the expectation is, to celebrate the cultural expressions of our land, there are important factors that we are all depending on each other for: Parents, guardians, and all adults, please pay keen attention to our children, they are the ones who are very easily distracted by the festivities around them, and tend to make mistakes that can be harmful. As parents we are responsible to choose what shows and for what period of time our children will be attending.

It is also imperative for all of us to actively support the initiative of the St. Maarten's Lions Club by preventing (in whatever way you can), our youth under the age of 18, consuming alcohol at any volume. St. Maarten is dependent on our youth and we need all of their innocence preserved.

As adults, we are all trustworthy of doing what is right: There will be many parties, concerts and festive hosting; private and public, this carnival season. I hereby make a conscious appeal for us to help your brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors, to avoid the agony of theft, violence and accidents during this Carnival season 2015.

As usual, the protective services of our Police Force, our health workers including the Red Cross Association, local government bodies and other key stakeholders will be among us, to make it easy to achieve all the above and to enjoy Carnival 2015 to the fullest.

As we continue striving to be ever more united, let us adapt an attitude that promotes what is best for our wellbeing, environment and our homes:

When attending concerts and other activities you are reminded to:
• Not carry around or display large amounts of money
• Not accept drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended
• Prearrange transport arrangements and designate a non-drinker as your driver

Parents and guardians should consider that their children should:
• Not be left unsupervised at home.
• Not accept food or drink from strangers.

Come Experience Life!

Mrs. Rita Bourne-Gumbs
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports
Interim Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labor

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