St.Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) collaborates with St.Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) on the Best Carnival Booth Competition.

Chamber, SCDF collaborate on Best Carnival Booth competition

The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI) in collaboration with the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF), has initiated a “Best Carnival Booth” competition for Carnival 2023. The initiative falls right in line with the SCDF’s goal to re-introduce cultural aspects of Carnival that have been missing from the festival for some time.

The awarding of a best Carnival booth was tradition prior to the construction of the current Festival Village. Prior to that, booth holders used to apply their creativity in constructing their booths and private sector partners would work with the SCDF to award prizes to the booth holders. 

To revive this part of Carnival, the COCI has sponsored monetary prizes totaling US $3,250. The first prize winner will receive US $1,500, second prize will get US $1,000 and third prize will get US $750. The COCI and the SCDF developed the criteria for the competition and judging will take place in the first week of Carnival.

The judging criteria, judges on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 20 (highest) is as follows:

Cultural Relevance/Look 
Does the booth decor resonate with the cultural norms, nuances, beliefs and experiences of St. Maarten? When you look at the booth, does St. Maarten’s culture or a Carnival “melting pot” culture jump out at you?

The extent to which the idea applied to the booth is new or different from what has been done before. Also the degree to which the booth is visually appealing or aesthetically pleasing.

Cleanliness/Attention to detail 
This refers to how the entire booth is kept inside and out. How much focus is placed on small or subtle aspects of the booth. 

Furniture usage 
How booth furniture is arranged and used in the booth. Are walkways considered and unencumbered? Is there space to sit or stand comfortably?  

“We are extremely happy that the COCI chose to support Carnival this year in this manner. The COCI plays a part every year, but this fits right in with what we want to achieve in the short and long-term. We are grateful for this initiative and hope it starts a popular tradition once again in Carnival, even if the booths are now out of concrete and not wood anymore. We have no doubt that our booth holders will rise to the challenge,” the SCDF said.