ST. CROIX — The belief goes to stay ahead of the curve, change is inevitable. “Change or get left behind” is also a popular phrase used by many to motivate those in business — or with talent — to enhance their offerings.
Alvin Burke, the founder of Carnival Meets the Runway, an event that for years has showcased the main presentation of carnival — troupes and costume design in a glorious runway-style setting — did just that on Saturday night for the fifth annual event, changing location and mixing up the entertainment to provide eventgoers with a pleasurable night while building up the anticipation for St. Croix’s biggest display of culture, the 2018-19 Crucian Christmas Festival.
This year’s show was held at the Ann Abramson Pier in Frederiksted, breaking away from its former location, The Palms at Pelican Cove. The pier’s welcome center was transformed into a dressing room where carnival models from a variety of troupes adorned themselves with elaborate carnival attire.
The idea of the show, according to Mr. Burke, has always been to serve as a kickoff of the Crucian Christmas Festival season, getting residents into the spirit of carnival as party events leading up to the main affair start popping up. For the troupes that participated last night, Carnival Meets the Runway served as a way to entice mas players into joining their groups. Participants this year included Regal Dynasty, Lockhart and Associates, Fantasy Fete, Pure Mas, So Fat Dancers, and a cultural dancers troupe backed by Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights.
Notably missing from last night’s show were two of Shamari Haynes’s troupes, Simply Sophisticated and Savage Festival. The troupes were supposed to participate, according to a video promoting the event. Mr. Haynes told The Consortium that his troupes’ prototype costumes are overseas for mass production, and therefore his models did not have the attire for the event. “We really wanted to but couldn’t because getting them here in time for the show wasn’t an option,” Mr. Haynes said. “Greater things to come.”
Late start and missing troupes aside, this year’s Carnival Meets the Runway proved to be a nicely put together event. The beautiful women — and men — exploded out of the dressing room and onto the stage built at the port, as guests who lined either side of the runway set their gaze on the stars of the night. Some of the costumes were grand and lavish, others were simple, yet commanding. And all the models walked confidently as they made their way to the top of the runway, cheered on by eventgoers.
This year, Mr. Burke featured a number of local artists who performed a various points. Performers included Blackest, Mic Love, Adam O., reigning St. Croix Calypso Queen Temisha Libert, Pumpa, BDJ and BugZbugs. Fimba, a St. Vincent artist, performed his hit Soca single, Mind Your Funky Business. The artists were backed by a mix of the territory’s top producers, Iaryn “Swanks” Williams, and Alwyn “Daddy Jones” Baptiste.
Correction: October 14, 2018
A previous version of this story said that Soca Artist Fimber “Fimba” Jardine was born in St. Kitts, when Mr. Jardine is a St. Vincent-born artist, who has lived in the U.S. with his family for the past 14 years. The story has been updated.