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COLE BAY, Sint Maarten - The first annual Zamar Musikfest was a sensational success with a starring line-up of gospel artistes such as Shawn J, Roxsy, and Shernel and headlined by Positive out of Trinidad and Tobago.

The event was jointly hosted by Zamar Musical Productions and GIFTED Foundation.

The gospel ministers visited Sundial and St. Maarten Academy PSVE schools with messages of change and making our world a better place. Then, a power-packed concert showcased local talents of dancers, rappers, singers, and musicians.

The audience sang along to the hit tunes belted by Shernel and Roxsy. They took to their feet, grooving to the soulful melodies of Shawn J. All got on the dance floor when Positive took the stage, and the energy in the building was high.

Zamar intends to make the next year’s event even bigger- already making plans for a network gala affair.

GIFTED Foundation will be spreading their message of positive music culture to Puerto Rico with the WorldChangers Concert on April 9, 2016, where St. Martin/Sint Maarten artistes will be featured as well as other Caribbean gospel artistes.

Pond Island, St. Maarten –  TelCell Night of the Hit Makers is once again being billed at the premier, music event for Carnival 2016 – with positive endorsements from sponsors and St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) alike.

SCDF Director, Michael Granger, expects the event to draw in thousands from all over the world, to St. Maarten’s largest cultural event.

“I’ve known Mr. “Rude” since school days and he has always been serious and passionate when he sets his mind to make things happen the way he does every year by bringing the show to another level,” said the SCDF Director, who also praised TelEm Group for being the main sponsor of the show and also of Carnival itself.

During a press conference held at the Festival Village last week, the show organizer and his team from Xtratight Entertainment, also thanked their main sponsor, TelCell, and introduced some new sponsors who are coming on board this year.

“We have a number of different performers coming on stage, some that we have been trying to get to St. Maarten for a long time, and now we finally managed it. We also have some classic acts that will really put our “famous” dance floor to the test this year,” said Mr. Rude.

He said discounted tickets will go on sale for a limited time at the TelEm Group building before the end of the month and music fans can look forward to taking advantage of that offer - saving on the price of tickets at the gate.

During the press conference, TelEm Group representatives, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Eldert Louisa, and Carnival Promotion coordinator, Grisha Marten, also expressed the hope that customers and members of the public generally will attend the event and experience another of the organizer’s famous “Surprise” of the night.

According to Grisha, the company is currently running a phone sale promotion that offers a ticket for the Night of the Hit Makers show and tickets to four other Carnival shows. All carnival lovers have to do is purchase one of the new Kodak IM5 Smartphones and the tickets will be given as part of the promotion package.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Saturday March 19th the annual “Cause Way Jump took place. A large crowd participated in the event. The parade started and ended scheduled.

Three persons were arrested for their misbehavior. They were taken to the police station and given a stiff fine totaling Nafls 1765,-.

After paying the fine they were given a stern warning and then released. The jump up was a success.

 

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The 19 calypsonians that will participate in the Nagico Senior Calypso Eliminations have started the practice sessions and is getting ready to deliver “sweet kaiso” to lovers of the music genre and social commentary through song.

The eliminations will be held on Saturday, April 2 at Port de Plaisance along with the Senior Roadmarch Competition.

The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) switched venues this year to offer better parking and other amenities for attendees of the show. The foundation expects no shortage of powerful messages from the singers through their calypso.

“When we think Carnival we think Calypso and parades as the focal points. That has changed somewhat over the years with the international concerts gaining more dominance in the festival, but as a foundation calypso has remained central to Carnival,” the SCDF said.

“The singers are working hard on their messages, the live band we expect to be great again and we think folks will like the new venue. Bottom line is everyone wants to hear good kaiso and we are confident the singers will deliver,” the SCDF added.

Entrance to the show is US $10 and showtime is 7pm. The show will be hosted as usual by the “King of the MC’s” Fernando Clark.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico’s 2016 Miss Universe contestant was stripped of her crown on Thursday after officials said she had an attitude problem.

Kristhielee Caride will no longer represent the U.S. territory in the upcoming international beauty contest. Caride won the crown four months ago but recently did an interview with a local newspaper in which she was criticised for being dismissive and saying she did not love cameras.

Desiree Lowry, national director of Miss Universe Puerto Rico, was present during that interview.

“I wanted the earth to swallow me,” Lowry said. “You always have to put your best face forward … it’s a given that we are going to be in front of cameras and that we have to answer all types of questions.”

Lowry said Caride never apologised and only told officials that she was having a personal problem and that the incident would not repeat itself. But Lowry said Caride then cancelled other appearances because she said she had a doctor’s appointment that she refused to reschedule.

Caride said in a lengthy Facebook post on Thursday that beauty queens are not exempt from having a bad day and that she was sincerely sorry.

“I allowed my feelings to get in the way of my work,” she wrote.

Caride said she did not agree with the decision that Lowry and other officials made, but that she was turning in her sash with dignity.

Lowry presented the new Miss Universe contestant at a press conference held on Thursday at a restaurant in the capital of San Juan. Brenda Jimenez appeared in a sparkling tiara and a strapless red dress with a somewhat surprised look on her face.

“I still haven’t fully processed the information,” she said.

It is the first time a Puerto Rico Miss Universe contestant has lost her crown before the big event is held. Miss Puerto Rico 1994, Brenda Robles, was dismissed during that year’s Miss Universe contest because she was pregnant.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - 78 Inc Entertainment Foundation was established in 2006 by a group of young professionals born in 1978, with the goal to provide and promote wholesome entertainment in the areas of music, sports, theatre and through any positive means. This Team is once again happy to rock carnival with Carib’s Caribbean Flag Fest 2016.

On Wednesday March 16th, 2016 members of the 78 Inc Entertainment Foundation & Carib Beer St. Maarten officially launched Carib’s Caribbean Flag Fest 2016, which will be held on Saturday April 16th, 2016 at 8:00pm at the St. Maarten Carnival Village. The return of this highly anticipated show will be one of the first shows carnival revellers are looking forward to for the 2016 Carnival Season. The show will feature some of the hottest bands from St. Maarten and the Caribbean region. Performing live will be: The Rebels Band HD from St. Eustatius; Nu Vybz Band from St Kitts; Exodus HD from Anguilla, XP Band HD from St. Maarten and, back by popular demand, Triple Kay Global from Dominica.

Deejays for this event will be the Official Flag Fest DJ, DJ Vybz and The Stanman from largeradio.com, who are ready and energized to be a part of this concert. Our Host for Carib’s Caribbean Flag Fest 2016 is none other than one of our greatest and creative entertainer and singer, King Vers.

“This will be a very ‘high energy’ soca jam band concert where some of the best bands from our own soil and the surrounding islands will be performing live on stage alongside our local deejays. Carib’s Caribbean Flag Fest 2016 aims to bring back the St. Maarten / Caribbean culture and flavour to our only large cultural festival on theisland, namely carnival.

This is a no heels event and the all are encouraged to come out early with their flags, rags, and sneakers and prepare to get wet. 78inc promises that Carib’s Caribbean Flag Fest will be “one of the best and biggest” ‘pre-jouvert jam sessions in the Carnival Village like never before.

“Come represent your flag and wave your rag...We are Caribbean”.

Advance Tickets are $25 and General admission to the show is US $35 per person. Tickets will be available from Thursday March 17th, 2016 at both locations of Van Dorp Edine; SOS Radio Station, SXM Promotionz (+1721 581 0801) and FUBU promotions ( +590 690 75 51 73).

Log on to www.78inc.com and like their page for more information, updates and giveaways.

CODRINGTON, Barbuda – Mariah Carey and her billionaire boyfriend James Packer are planning to exchange vows at an exclusive ceremony in Barbuda – the Caribbean paradise known for its crisp blue water, pink-sand beaches and year-round tropical climate.

The deep-pocketed pair wants to keep the enviable event intimate with just 50 close friends and family, according to TMZ.

Invitations have not been sent out, but the lucky few will be flown out to the island on private jets.

The couple had another reason for choosing Barbuda – the Aussie media mogul Packer is currently building a $250-million private luxury resort here with Robert De Niro.

Locals have opposed the mammoth, high-priced Paradise Found resort, arguing it takes up too much land and that the 99-year-lease is too long. But the government has approved construction.

Carey and Packer have not set a date, but it’s expected to be after mid-June due to the singer’s prior commitments, according to TMZ.

POND ISLAND , St. Maarten– Back by popular demand as a pre-carnival warm-up event, is the TelCell sponsored, Road to Carnival (RTC) event, featuring fun activities, promotional giveaways and a ton-load of carnival hype to set the tone for another fantastic Carnival 2016.

The TelCell Road to Carnival team this week announced that the event will once again feature stops at some of the island’s favourite hotspots along with the annual Causeway Jump-up and after party at Soggy Dollar, Around Town Jump Up and after party at Cactus Diner Bar, and a big party jam at the Walter Plantz Square on Frontstreet to wind up the pre-carnival warm-up.

According to RTC team coordinator, Suraj Ramdas, advertisements have started circulating about the Road to Carnival events and he is urging fans of the event to look out for more information pointing to “where and the fun is at each week.”

POND ISLAND, St. Maarten – TelEm Group announced today that it will be adopting the theme “I Am Carnival” as a major carnival promotional campaign during Carnival 2016.

The theme has been specially chosen to appeal for everyone in the community who enjoys taking part in the island’s premier touristic and cultural event, encouraging them to make a special effort to make this year’s Carnival their own – in any way they can.

I Am Carnival will feature colourful and nostalgic banners featuring local cultural icons, Fred York (representing musicians who play during carnival); Anna Rabess-Richardson (representing the beauty pageants as Ms. Mature Queen) Fish Da Mega Boss (flying the flag for Kaisonians) and Pa Ben as the charismatic MC/Host of many, many carnivals of the past.

“We have come up with the concept of “I Am Carnival” to make everyone feel involved in Carnival,” said promotion coordinator, Grisha Marten.

She recognizes that every contributes in their own way to make Carnival what it is, and believes this should be prominently shown, because without this kind of cooperation, “there would be no Carnival,” said Grisha.

She said Carnival fans can look out for posters and banners featuring our local Carnival icons throughout the Carnival season, at the Festival Village and adorning lamp poles throughout Philipsburg.

“Whether it’s parade spectators, patrons, Kaisonians, Revelers, visitors or just individuals who want to have fun during Carnival, we want them all involved and recognized – and we aim to really bring some pride and fun back into Carnival,” continued Grisha.

She says the “I Am Carnival” theme is being carried in all company carnival promotions and will be highlighted in TelEm Group’s “Red” section part of the massive Gordon Yee Carnival Troupe this year.

“We have t-shirts, we have promotional material, we have specials and contests and all the shows we sponsor will play on the theme,” continued Grisha.

She said, of course the slogan will embrace the company’s traditional red colour, which again will be ablaze at the Festival Village throughout the Carnival season.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – On March 9th 2016 the organizing committee of Rio Productions Lighted Parade conducted a meeting at the Head Quarters of Caribbean Liquors and Tobacco (CLT) to complete the final details for the upcoming 5th annual Lighted Parade that will take place on April 9th 2016.

It is Rio Productions’ mission to provide a safe environment where revelers can enjoy carnival music as they parade in lighted t-shirts and costumes through the streets of the Philipsburg showcasing St. Maarten’s culture. In order to achieve that, the organization of the event needs to be on point with all safety measures taken into consideration.

The organizing committee is tasked with the precision planning, and connecting all the dots to make this the best carnival night parade ever in St. Maarten.

A new element that will be added to the lighted parade this year is the “Rio Village” located on the Ring Road opposite the Ennia Building. The organizers envision this to become a “hot spot” where spectators can gather, eat, drink and party while waiting on the lighted parade to pass by.

It is also the place where the parade will be ending, as it is marked as the venue for the official after party where the musical entertainment will continue to play well after the parade has ended.

President of Rio Productions, Ms. Brenda Wathey is very excited about the current developments. “Burning Flames and Small Axe will be bands on the road, and for the first time Soggy Dollar Bar will be teaming up with us as well. They are going to build a trailer with amazing light and sound effects whereby local DJ’s will be performing.

That, in combination with our costume section and the flashing gadgets that our main sponsors Chippie and CLT will be providing, we can assure each and everyone that it’s going to be a light fantastic show. Something that you just don’t want to miss”.

Availability of T-Shirts is very limited, the general public is therefore advised to pre-register online before the 16th of March at: www.rioproductions.sx

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