Even though they had little corporate support and limited funds from the National Carnival Commission, Moruga residents came together to host one of the "biggest, brightest" Carnival celebrations the community has ever seen.
Having experienced the two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, community activist Eric Lewis said people were excited for the 2023 Carnival even though they did not have money to participate.
The usual chocolate mas band was not possible, Lewis said, as the cost of making chocolate for mas was exorbitant.
"We could not do the things we did in previous years so this year we went ahead and did what we could, and everyone enjoyed it to the max. It was the biggest brightest Carnival we've ever had," he said.
Thousands of revellers participated in J’Ouvert after dawn on Carnival Monday, trekking from Basse Terre to Gran Chemin where they took their traditional sea bath.
On Monday night, hundreds came out for the Calypso competition which included the six Moruga-based contestants who participated in the Calypso Fiesta competition in Skinner Park.
Although the police restrictions were many, Lewis said they were grateful that so many came out, taking monies from their own pockets to participate in all the festivities.
Meanwhile, the public relations officer of the Moruga Carnival Committee Wendel Cooper said their success came because of proper planning and marketing.
As the owner of the Moruga online radio station, Cooper told Guardian Media that they started preparing for Carnival several months before, garnering support from business owners and community activists.
"We did groundwork and we kept on marketing it. Our main problem every year during Carnival is the bad sound system and the music trucks breaking down, so we dealt with that from early," Cooper said.
With the assistance of the Committee's CEO Naila Gabriel, Cooper said they also marketed the J’Ouvert to other communities.
"We had no incidents of violence, and we are proud of what we achieved this year," Cooper said.
Moruga's parade of the bands was scheduled to take place at the Gran Chemin Grounds. He said they also engaged in four weekends of stickfighting at the gayelle in St Mary's.
"We also went to a couple of bars and asked the owners to collaborate with us. Even though people are facing tough economic times, we pulled together. The bar owners organized sound systems and music. We encouraged them to vibe up the area with music so the strain will not be on the Carnival Committee because up to Wednesday, we had not received a subvention," Cooper said.
He commended the community for coming together to host Carnival 2023, despite the challenges. He also thanked the police for their assistance in providing security and order in the community.