Published On: Mon, Apr 9th, 2018

Balloon parade ushers in the colorful aspect of carnival

5th Annual Balloon Parade truck troupe

Cul-de-Sac — What began as an experiment back in the 14th century has since been incorporated into huge festivities like carnival. Case in point is the balloon parade that took place yesterday afternoon which started at Carrefour and concluded at the Festival Village.

Under the theme of ‘Too Cool To Loot’ It was a delight to see over 3,000 balloons in all shapes and sizes on the backs of kids who were more than eager to get involved in the colourful festivities and by extension being a part of the carnival celebrations on sunny St Maarten.

5th Annual Balloon Jump Up Jasmine PhilipsJasmine Philips (see photo), the brains behind the ‘Survivors’ was once again tasked with the responsibility of getting the show on the road for the 5th straight year. It was the first colourful event of the 2018 Carnival season where she catered for 450 kids.

Ironically, what Philips and the other costume designers had in common was the ability to be resilient after hurricane Irma’s wrath across the island last September. Carnival celebration on St Maarten is the biggest cultural event.

The stakeholders along with the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) are continuing to do their best to ensure it stays that way. But as Philips explained, it was not an easy task.

“The parade was geared mainly for children from as small as three to 15, but a lot of kids have left the island. Our theme this year is ‘Simply Survivors’ and to date we have zero corporate sponsorship. But God is good all the time, now we have UNICEF on board with their project ‘Too Cool To Loot’ by sponsoring 100 children, some who were less fortunate .” she said.

Unlike the previous years when participants would purchase t-shirts from Philips, this time it was provided by the National Institute of Arts (NIA). On the final day of sales which took place at the John Larmonie Center. The kids had the option to decorate the shirts they planned to wear and it did not have to be new.

However what the Survivors provided at a minimal cost of US $10 were packages which included refreshments. “Now that NIA has joined with us, we were able to get the young dancers that are involved with them, which is a plus,” she added.

5th Annual Balloon Jump Up bridge

Watch the video below..

Click here to see more photos of the 5th Annual Balloons Jump Up parade…

Photos and video by Milton Pieters.