Island Entertainment

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SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten - A series of colorful carnival themed mini-parades and poolside fêtes is once again being hosted by Simpson Bay Resort & Marina. Following glowing reviews of last year’s pioneering event which gave many long-time visitors their first carnival experience, this year’s ‘Royal Jump Up’ schedule will see double the number of parades and the resort is extending a welcome to the general public.  

The reveling kicked off on Wednesday, with resort guests and staff chipping and dancing through the nearby inner streets, following the lead of St. Maarten’s own Generation New Status drum band and Dazzling Divas dancers.

Participants donned both genuine carnival costumes from previous Grand Parades, as well as the new option given this year: bright custom made shirts, some of which were ‘bedazzled’ and decoratively cut in workshops.

The same clothing options – costumes for rent or shirts for sale – will be available to future participants joining the remaining scheduled mini-parades from 6:00pm and happy hour extending to 8:00pm on resort grounds on April 19 and 26, and May 3.

Participants are asked to otherwise wear their own brightly colored/ neon clothes and accessories, or costumes. Residents can also join the shirt decorating workshops at the resort.

Wednesday’s group started out on the smaller side and gradually grew as resort guests joined in, with some guests also spectating from their balconies. At the poolside, the regularly scheduled happy hour was transformed by dancing, local and regional Soca numbers, and further performances by Urmain "Youmay" Dormoy and the youth of Generation New Status drum band.

POND ISLAND, St. Maarten – TelEm Group Technicians and engineers have been busy connecting the Festival Village with fiber optic cable and new Wi-fi solutions to vastly improve mobile voice and data user experience during this year’s carnival season.

Prompted by an initiative of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Kendall Dupersoy to “flood” St. Maarten’s premier gathering spot for carnival with top of the line telecommunication connections, TelEm Group’s outside plant has been busy in recent weeks running lightning-fast fiber optic cables from the company’s main building on Pond Island to the Festival Village. From there, connections are also being made to other parts of Phillipsburg in preparation for more connections in the center of town.

According to Mr. Dupersoy, the focus on the Festival Village is turning out to be a great learning experience for TelEm Group in providing fiber optic and Wi-fi services in a densely populated area.

As a pre-cursor to the company’s upcoming island-wide rollout of Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) this Summer, the project at the festival Village will also provide valuable training to TelEm Group staff and local contractors, who will be instrumental in building the underground fiber optic network over the next two years.

“There are thousands of people in the Village at the height of carnival and practically everyone will be using their mobile phones to make calls, take pictures or send videos to theie families and friends” said the CEO.

He said the net result during Carnival is an incredible demand at specific times of the day and night for unlimited bandwidth to satisfy the needs of customers in the Village.

“In the past, consumer demand in the Village has literally choked TelEm’s telecommunication network, leaving customers angry and unsatisfied. By providing additional bandwidth from the higher capacity fiber cables, and also by introducing a new Wi-fi solution for the Village, customers and the public can look forward to an unforgettable user experience at the Festival Village during this Carnival season,” said the TelEm Group chief.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Junior Carnival Parade will be held on Saturday, April 8. The St. Maarten Carnival development expects a small, but lively parade for children which, because of how late Easter is falling, has to be held much earlier than usual.

The parade will kick off at 2:00pm from the Jose Lake Ballpark along L.B. scot Road. All troupes will begin gathering at 12 noon on Saturday. The parade will travel down L.B. Scot Road, Bush Road, over the Prins Bernard Bridge and take the span of Pondfill until it ends at the Little League Ball Park.

The SCDF took the decision last year not to take the children parade down Fronstreet and will stick to that decision this year.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The weekend of April 7 will be a busy one with the last pre-Carnival events being held on Friday and Saturday before the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) cease all public activities for Holy Week.

The partying begins on Friday, April 7 when the SCDF and TelCell will host the finale of the Road to Carnival party series. This finale will be two-fold; first there will be a happy-hour party at Taloula Mango’s on the Boardwalk that will run from 6:00pm until 11:00pm.

This event will feature LIVE performances by five of the participants of the 2017 Soca Rumble competition: Shadz, Fox, Magic, King James and Lion. Also on stage for the night will be popular and versatile band 4M HD. “The idea is to have a great time on the boardwalk with great music at a great location like Taloula Mango’s,” SCDF said, adding that there will also be giveaways from TelCell and much more.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten celebrated its 45th anniversary with a special dinner celebration at Moomba Restaurant in Maho on Thursday, March 29, 2017.  To commemorate the occasion the Rotary Club awarded a Paul Harris Fellow to its only remaining charter member, Richard Gibson.  Mr. Gibson accepted the award and recounted several of his memories from the early days of Rotary on Sint Maarten.  Mr. Gibson went onto say, "It has been a pleasure to be a Rotarian for all of these years. Our Club and Rotary has accomplished so much good on the island because of what we have accomplished together.  I look forward to being here for the next 45 years."

The Paul Harris Fellow is recognition of exceptional service and a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International of world peace and international understanding.

President of the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten, Henna Budhrani added, “Rotary service helps the people of our community in more ways than we realize.  Tonight I am honored to be President as we welcome members from all 4 of our St. Maarten/St. Martin clubs to celebrate 45 years of Rotary service in St. Maarten, which began with our very own Mother club.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – on Monday, the 27th of March, the last batch of T-shirts that give access to the Lighted Parade 2017, reached Sint Maarten. This was announced earlier today by Carnival Event organizer Rio Productions.

The shirts are being sold at a rapid pace, and are expected to be completely sold out by Thursday, March 30th 2017. President of Rio Productions, Mrs. Brenda Wathey, explained: “the T-shirt sales went much faster this year due to our special collaboration with both NBA and Soggy Dollar Bar. They both have an enormous crowd, and utilized all modern media channels to reach out to their followers. In addition to that, Chippie and Caribbean Liquors and Tobacco, made ongoing efforts to reach out to their loyal customers, by offering them special packages on the T-shirts”.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Over the weekend the calypsonians have been busy rehearsing for the upcoming NAGICO Calypso eliminations scheduled for Friday, March 31st under the tent at Port De Plaisance.

During the rehearsal sessions the calypsonians took time to pull the numbers that determines the line up of the competition.

Rehearsals continue on Monday (today) at 7.00 pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 4.30 pm at the home of the band leader in Cole Bay and not at the John Larmonie Center as was previously announced.

D Orchestra is the band charged with providing the musical accompaniment for the calypsonians.

In the eliminations on Friday, each calypsonian will render one song on which they will be judged on their lyrical contents, their presentation, the rendition and melody of the song. The songs must be original, never sang in a previous competition and released after May 2016.

HAPPY BAY, St. Maarten - Festival lovers then had a choice to continue at various night venues which included Sky Beach, Tantra, 3 Amigos, Refuge and Dirty Sanchez.

This year, the Festival launched their first a On Sunday, the 24-hour festival that continued for 5 days came to an end as the SXM Festival closed to over 3,000 festival goers at Happy Bay.

Over 3,000 festival goers arrived on the island to attend the second edition of SXM Festival that took place from March 15 – 19 at various locations on both sides of the island. The Sun Raise event which took place from 5am to noon at Layla’s continued at the main day time venue on Happy Bay from 12 noon to 12 mid-nightnnual SXM Festival Boat Party which took place on Friday. This sold out event featured three top international DJs that took festival goers on an adventurous cruise.

On Saturday the exclusive Villa Party took place at Sandy Line Villas where over 800 VIP festival lovers enjoyed the unique cascading pool designs overlooking one of our beautiful beaches while enjoying the sounds from three top international DJs.

Rolando Brison, Director of Tourism commented, “I must say that I am very pleased with what I’ve witnessed over the last week with the large number of people who have chosen St. Maarten/ Saint Martin as a new place to fall in love with. It was described to me by many of the festival goers who travelled to the destination that it was not actually traveling but that it was a pilgrimage for them. I’ve met people who have travelled from as far as Saudi Arabia, Tokyo and of course the west coast of America, the latter being a very important market that we wish to attract in the future.” He continues “I would like to express my sincere congratulations to the organizers for putting this amazing event together. I can only imagine, seeing the product for myself, the immense amount of work that went into promoting and realizing this event. I would also like to thank all the sponsors that came to support the event to make this a reality. We look forward to seeing SXM Festival as our major music event for the island year after year.”

Private shuttle driver Jeffrey Jeffers was part of the SXM Festival transportation team along with 20 other young local men and women. He quoted “I got to meet a lot of new people who are planning on coming back to the island. I gave out about 300 contact cards to tourists who enjoyed our services; our locals are profiting from the festival as well.”

“I enjoyed the SXM Festival, I enjoyed making money and my costumers enjoyed themselves! There was a good a variety between taxi, busses and shuttles were everyone can profit from. The Festival is good for us and should happen twice a year.” said Julliet, driver of taxi 370.

“We loved it! St Maarten is beautiful and safe. The crowd was great, the sound was great. The locals were so nice and courteous. The villa parties were unbelievable. The weather 28 and sunny every day. We will come again!” – said Jeramie, a festival lover from Ontario, Canada

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maaten - The SXM Festival opened their week long activities on Wednesday with the opening of their main event at Happy Bay and their first night event at Refuge. On Thursday, their extended line up was able to cater to the over two thousand travelers that have already arrived at our destination with many more expected to arrive on Friday and Saturday.

Happy Bay Beach is one of Saint Martin’s best kept secrets – a stunning, secluded stretch of azure water, golden sands and lush jungle that can normally only be accessed by foot or boat.

POND ISLAND, St. Maarten Show promoters are bringing back some of the more popular performers of the annual TelCell Night of the Hit Makers, mega dance event for the past four years, so that they can make the 5th year of the event the most unforgettable yet.

Promoter, Berteaux “Mr. Rude” Fleming of Xtratight Entertainment, says bringing in this year’s line-up of musical talent is the least he can do to thank the thousands of music and dance fans who have supported him and made the event so special – even to a regional audience.

Included in that line up are: Impact Band, Kai formerly known as Carimi, Jean Marc Ferdinand, Claudius Philips, Farmer Nappy and the queen of bacchanal Destra

“I have gone into the archives and I have picked out the best of the best who are guaranteed to set the dance floor in the Festival Village on fire with a big party atmosphere,” stated “Mr. Rude” during a press conference at the Festival Village as he starts to build up the hype for the April 28th Carnival event.

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