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St. Maarten Carnival 2016 Photos and Reviews | SXM Carnival | St. Maarten Carnival 2016 Coverage :: on the inside


» Photo Galleries » Carnival » St. Maarten » 2016

St. Maarten Carnival is by far the islands biggest cultural/music festival. Now 47 years old, the official period of St. Maarten's Carnival spans three weeks, (yes, 21 consecutive days) making it the longest Carnival in the Caribbean. Under the theme "Come, Experience Life", it features everything from colorful parades, to spectacular pageants, exciting calypso, street jump-ups, energetic musical bands, wet fetes and highly anticipated international concerts. There are also several pre-Carnival events. Altogether, Carnival on St. Maarten is well over a month long.

The center of all activities is Carnival Village, centrally located in the island's capital of Philipsburg. Carnival Village is the only one of its kind in the entire Caribbean and undoubtedly makes St. Maarten Carnival unique among Caribbean carnivals. There is simply no Carnival venue like it anywhere. Carnival Village consists of a state of the art concert stage, vip bleacher seating and 80 "booths" with samplings of cuisine from almost every nationality that makes up the melting pot that is St. Maarten.



Lodging in Philipsburg gives you easy and quick access to all Carnival events. There are various options for different budgets. The Holland House, Sonesta Great Bay, Little Bay Beach Resort, Horizon View Hotel and several smaller inns are all great choices.


Various car rentals are located throughout the island if one wants to rent a car. If not, public transportation or taxis are a choice. Or, if staying in Philipsburg (as recommended), strolling down our picturesque roads leading to Carnival Village should be on your bucket list.


Although the island is half Dutch half French, the US Dollar ($) is the dominant currency on the island followed by the Euro.


There are several wi-fi hot spots island wide and all hotels are accommodated with the latest technologies. It is also very simple to get your hands on a local sim card, which can also be found in several booths in Carnival Village. There is also free Wi-Fi in Carnival Village.


This depends on the particular event. For most the attire should be comfy and party ready. But for specific events, such as wet fetes, you should probably go "beach ready" or at least in attire you don't mind getting wet.

2016 Major Events:

Carnival 2016 on St. Maarten featured a number of spectacular international concerts with world renowned and Caribbean artists. Not to be outdone, Jouvert and the colorful parades lit the streets on fyah!

Carib Beer Caribbean Flag Fest – This was the season's first wet fete in Carnival Village. Six Caribbean jam bands turned Carnival Village into a Jouvert... complete with lots of water.

Night of the Hit Makers – Carnival's biggest concert event two years running, the concert came complete with a dancefloor in the middle of Carnival Village and featured as headliner Kes out of Trinidad.

Dreamteam Presents – Carnival features all music genres, including hip hop. This concert featured hip hop stars Rick Ross and French Montana. Also on stage that night was Farmer Nappy and Dexta Daps.

Bacchanal Sunday The Wet Down – The season's second wet fete is by far the largest and most energetic show in Carnival. It features a number of soca artists and lots and lots of water, foam and well known DJ's.

Sabor Latino – St. Maarten has a large contingent of persons of Dominicano/Dominicana decent as residents. So it's only natural that one of the biggest nights in Carnival Village featured Bachata, Salsa and Reggeaton artists.

One Love Reggae Concert – Carnival's second largest concert event, the One Love Reggae Concert showed that Reggae is huge on St. Maarten. LIVE on stage this year were KyMani Marley, Romain Virgo, Alaine, Demarco and Spragga Benz.

Soca Rumble – Not to be outdone by the international concerts, St. Maarten also has its own Soca Groovy and Power Competition called the Soca Rumble. Two new kings were crowned this year, King Vers for Power Soca and The Mighty Dow for Groovy Soca.

Jouvert & Parades – St. Maarten boasts one of the largest, if not the largest, Jouvert in the North Eastern Caribbean. Fifteen (15) musical band trucks and DJ's, beverage trucks (22 vehicles in total) and approximately 20,000 revelers took to the streets of Philipsburg to go "around the pond" in the island's largest road event. Crazy costumes, trucks with LED screens and disco lights, paint, powder, water and alcohol filled coolers is the norm at Jouvert. St. Maarten Carnival also features three beautiful parades and 2016 was no different. 16 colorful troupes (or bands as they are called elsewhere) parades through Philipsburg. Even a rain downpour couldn't dampen these revelers in 2016. No wonder they call themselves "revelers to the core."

Save the dates for St. Maarten Carnival 2017: April 17 to May 4, 2017
For more information:
Instagram: @sxmcarnival

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