BARBADOS' FLAGSHIP FESTIVAL GETS UNDERWAY
Crop Over, Barbados'
internationally acclaimed cultural festival, will officially begin on
Sunday June 28 at a new venue in the heart of the City.
For the first time, the traditional
Thanksgiving Service and Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes have been
incorporated into one event at Independence Square and hundreds of
Barbadians and visitors are expected in attendance.
The Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes will include a parade from
Queen's Park, along St. Michael's Row and the Charles Duncan O'Neal
Bridge on to Independence Square where the rituals will take place.
The event, which is aimed at showcasing the island's heritage, will
also feature performances from several cultural groups and choirs, the
Sons of God Apostolic Church, and the crowning of the King and Queen of
"We have basically incorporated two events into one, along with
the traditional crowning of the king and queen of the Crop. Moving it to
Independence Square, we think is more fitting as we seek to refine Crop
Over and enhance recognition of the season of Emancipation," said
Ken Knight, Chairman of the National Cultural Foundation.
On July 4, the Barbados National Bank Heritage Gala will be staged
at Queen's Park under the theme "We Sugar Story". This too
will showcase aspects of Barbadian heritage, including exhibitions,
entertainment, children's attractions, a variety concert, a folk show
and local films.
Of the June 27 to August 3 Festival, Knight assured there would be
something for everyone in a festival that was still evolving with
several components such as literary arts, craft, visual arts, heritage
celebrations, cuisine and music.
Over the years, the Festival has emerged as a major economic force
and cultural product that also drives summer tourism traffic to the
island. Again this year, Barbados' brand of carnival is expected to
attract visitors, from the Caribbean and the major markets of North
America and Europe, to join locals in a range of activities.
The Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) and the National Cultural
Foundation (NCF) have teamed up to promote Barbados and its cultural
products in the island's main source markets, including Canada, the USA,
England and several Caribbean territories and there are expectations for
a relatively good season, in spite of global economic challenges.
Among the many avenues used to promote
the island's premier cultural event are television and radio in North
America, media releases, and private functions for key media and top
producing travel agents to assist Barbados in selling Crop-Over to their
on the importance of the Festival in Barbados' marketing mix, Senior
Vice President at the BTA, Cicely Walcott said, "The Crop over
Festival is marketed as the premier festival of our 7 magnificent
festivals. This event generates substantial revenue for Barbados
especially from the VFR market which tends to stay more and more in paid
accommodation rather than with family. They also bring along other
friends and workmates to sample the Festival. We have heightened our
partnership with the NCF in promoting the Festival in Trinidad and St.
Lucia and we expect to reap many benefits from this partnership."
"In addition, we have negotiated a summer schedule with Air Jamaica
targeted especially at the VFR market so that capacity on other
carriers is available for other leisure business. I must also point out
that we market Crop over as a part of the season of emancipation and we
expect to generate traffic not only in the last week of July but
throughout the entire period which starts July 4".