CASTRIES – Organisers of Saint Lucia Carnival 2019 have declared the event a resounding success by the large turnout of people, particularly in the final two days of the Parade of Bands. However, they expressed concern that the rampant nudity and lewd behaviour have put a damper on this success.
Chairperson of Events Company of St. Lucia Inc (ECSL) Agnes Francis told reporters on Wednesday that this type of behaviour is unacceptable and something must be done about it.
“I saw about two or three kids watching when a guy’s face was in a lady’s bum,” she noted. “I am sorry but that’s what I saw, and I had to turn them away.”
“This is not what our carnival is about. I don’t mind the merriment, I don’t mind adult behaviour but when you have spectators who are not able to view the event, not able to take the children to view the event, there is something that we have to do. We just can’t put our hands up and say this is the way of the world, this is the way it’s going,” she explained.
Francis said she is not being “prude” but standards must be set.
“I am a not prude but I think that we have a responsibility as adults to ensure that the carnival product is at a palatable level for children to at least spectate and view,” she noted.
According to St. Lucia’s Criminal Code, a person who willingly and indecently exposes his or her genitals to the public or within view of public or any place within intent to insult is liable to a fine of $1,000, HTS reported.
Francis said she is concerned about the breaking of the laws of St. Lucia.
“I have no moral authority to make any decision on how people dress, how people behave. What I am concerned about is the breaking of the laws of St. Lucia and the police having a responsibility to do their duties. There was nudity during carnival and this is not acceptable,” she said.
She said the police, as well as her team, did the best they could regarding enforcing the laws. She hopes that the lessons learned this year can be applied to next year’s carnival.
“I think that the police are doing the best they can given the circumstances,” she said.
She added: “Carnival this year was just so big…. We were unaware of the extent and magnitude of it. Although we planned for it, I think that this size — and that’s part of the issue. The registration does not tell you the number of revellers in a band. There’s just not enough information in order to make proper management decisions. So, we were aware that [there was] going to be 14 bands but the size of this band versus that band was not available to Events [St. Lucia] or to the police so that they would know ‘ok we need to have x, y and z in place.”
There have been mixed reviews from St. Lucians on social media about the nudity. Some say that’s what Carnival is about, but others say persons have taken it too far.