Director of St Maarten Tourist Board says Boardwalk Mas’ for May 15 with more masks on parade

Regina Labega, director, St. Maarten Tourist Bureau

Regina Labega, director, St. Maarten Tourist Bureau

The Boardwalk Mas will take place at the Great Bay Beach promenade and the Wathey Square on Frontstreet on May 15, 2010, said Regina Labega, head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB).

The 6th annual parade and concert of traditional St. Maarten/St. Martin festive culture is “for the whole family and the entire island,” said Labega about the TourMap heritage program.

In 2010, the Boardwalk Mas will increase the appearance of masks, “Which is something we’ve been working at from the start in 2005,” said parade coordinator Urmain Dormoy.

Last year we had more masks that ever before. The big ones of the dog and creatures from St. Martin and Caribbean folktales and jumbie stories were a hit. We want to get more creative with that,” said Dormoy. The Boardwalk Mas is coordinated for STB by Offshore Editing Services.

Not only is the creative design and number of masks increasing in the parade but the number of schools participating is increasing and the visitors to the island have been showing up in greater numbers, especially over the last three years, said Labega.

We are happy with the focus remaining on the folkloric traditions. In this way the Boardwalk Mas is open to all participants and creative innovations but the basic idea is that the masqueraders and performances enhance unity with and around the oldtime festive culture of our island,” said Labega.

Marching band getting ready for the Boardwalk Mas parade (2007, STB photo).

Marching band getting ready for the Boardwalk Mas parade (2007, STB photo).

Over the years, the Boardwalk Mas has showcased marching bands, fire-eaters, martial arts, carnival royals, comedians, string bands, carnival band of the year, street and dance theater, a range of folkloric and cultural groups, fashion models in traditional dress or headwraps, individual masqueraders, and moko jumbies.

Masqueraders of all ages for the Boardwalk Mas (2007, STB photo)

Masqueraders of all ages for the Boardwalk Mas (2007, STB photo)

Folkloric and cultural groups, marching bands, individual masqueraders, and schools wishing to take part in the new edition of the Boardwalk Mas may contact STB product development head Gus Priest, tel (599) 542-2337, and leave a message for Urmain Dormoy.

Parade coordinator Dormoy can also be contacted directly at the Cultural Center on Backstreet or at offshoreediting@hotmail.com.

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