J’ouvert Morning, 2024 edition

Compliment to all involved, the PJ party started on time. Three bands provided the music, Groove Masters, Tsunami and Buleria, with two more sound systems.

The place was rocking. Heaving.

We left to go home around 7am, after munching a totally unimpressive Johnney Cake with saltfish. We did not see a single incident — it was all sweet.

But the bars were closed. San Nicolas only has one big night a year, and on that night all bars were made to close according to their permits at 3pm, just as the parade got started. They reopened at 6am, but three hours of good revenue were lost.

That’s unfortunate, because traditionally it is a big night for Julio’s, for example, and he was shuttered.

When finally opened, with just one bartender, or two, they couldn’t handle the demand.

And the one toilet on duty, was overwhelmed by the eager number of wannabe users.

We noticed in one or two more places, there were no working hands behind the bar to take the cash customers were throwing at them. Labor shortage?!

Did the bars have to apply for a special permit to remain open all night?

The parade route was the extended one, to accommodate the great number of people I assume. The parade crawled down to Citgo Essoville, then turned around Pastor Hendrikstraat, the long way, to the ballpark.

Groove Masters must have had all of Aruba’s thirteen-year-olds parading behind them.

You’re looking at the future, said one of my friends.

I am not suggesting for the Police to enforce an age minimum at J’ouvert Morning, they have enough work on their hands, I am just asking parents to keep their kids home, longer. Learn to say no!

(We left on time, there were 21 arrest later in the morning, and 14 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence.)

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February 03, 2024
Rona Coster