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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Monday 20th May 2019 (St. John's, Antigua)...In front of a large crowd on Saturday,
the Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission (ABFC), under the auspices of the Minister of Sports, Culture,
National Festivals and the Arts, Honourable Daryll Matthew, launched the 2019 Antigua Carnival festivities.

This year, the ABFC styled the Carnival Launch as a two-part series, which included the first-ever T-shirt Mas Launch,
dubbed 'De Warm Up' and the Official Launch Concert. This T-shirt Mas experience amassed thousands of revellers
and spectators through the streets of St. John's, which then culminated at the Official Launch Concert at Rising Sun
Grounds in the evening.

Rising Sun Grounds was transformed into a festive and colourful hub with thousands of Carnival lovers enjoying
everything that the 2019 Launch had to offer, including the onsite Kiddie Fun Zone and Festivals Village.

Antigua's Carnival 2019 – "The Caribbean's Greatest Summer Festival" will take place from Thursday 25th July to
Tuesday 6th August.

The main event, which was the Launch Concert, featured performances by Queen Thalia – reigning Calypso Monarch;
G'eve – reigning Junior Groovy Soca and Junior Calypso Monarch; Empress – reigning Junior Jumpy Soca Monarch;
King Vicious – reigning Junior Calypso Monarch; Tian Winter – reigning Jumpy Monarch; Ezzy Rattigan – reigning
Groovy Monarch; Soca Diva, Claudette CP Peters; Menace and the Original Burning Flames.

Minister of National Festivals, Honourable Daryll Matthew expressed that this year's Carnival will see quite a few
exciting changes that persons can look forward to. Some of which include the re-introduction of the Miss Antigua
Queen of Carnival Pageant on Friday 26th July and the restructuring of Carnival Monday into a traditional array to
depict and highlight more of our Nation's culture. In addition to this, the ABFC has finalized arrangements with mas
groups in Guadeloupe, to partake in this year's Carnival festivities, for the second consecutive year.

Director of National Festivals, Mrs Petley O'keiffe-Knight, hinted that the strategic marketing efforts undertaken by
the ABFC has benefited our Carnival tremendously by placing it on a higher level regionally and internationally, and
therefore, it is expected that visitor arrival, and participation in this year's Carnival, will be significantly increased.

As we shift gear to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the Caribbean's Greatest Summer Festival, the ABFC wishes to
express a heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the Launch of Carnival, and your continued
support will be sincerely appreciated as we move towards experiencing the greatness of Antigua's Carnival 2019.