Gear Up For Exciting Festival; Launches Next Month

Melissa Edwards, Senior Reporter | 2 Opinions
Published: May 17, 2017 8:00 am AST
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Good international and local artistes, a large number of troupes, and a strong presence of Virgin Islands culture, are among the things being promised to residents and visitors for this year's August festival celebrations.

Mr. Trefor Grant, Chairman of the Virgin Islands Festivals and Fairs Committee, said the emancipation celebrations will be launched in early June with a massive launch party.

"We are going to do a launch party in early June...We literally just discussed the date tonight, so the venue and everything have not been confirmed, because as a committee we are still throwing out ideas," he told BVI Platinum News on Tuesday, May 16.

Applications for the theme and slogan competition will end on May 22nd and the response has been good.

"I had a meeting with the Director of Culture (Mrs. Luce Hodge-Smith) and she said that she has gotten some really good submissions so far…When we get those chosen, then essentially the booth and troupe owners will know basically how to use those to incorporate with (their plans, etc.)," Grant said.

The parade for this year also appears to be gaining positive momentum.

"The parade has gotten some really good interest. People are calling the Department of Culture for the forms already, but the forms do not come out until the theme and slogan are confirmed," Grant stated.

He said, "Even on social media people are appealing for different troupes. So the buzz is there. I do think it is going to be an exciting parade as well."

Trefor Grant, Chairman of the Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
One of the areas the committee has repeatedly faced criticisms for is the entertainment lineup; however; Grant said they have already confirmed 75 percent of the artistes, who he said are of good caliber.

"They are notable in entertainment…I can say that it will be an exciting festival…but I cannot reveal any names (artistes) until contracts and everything are signed."

In relation to funding, another sore area for the committee, the Chairman indicated that they have received an early push this year.

"We were able to get a little of a head start on funding (from government), so that helped a lot, help us to be a little proactive...And we have also been more proactive in seeking sponsorship."

He added, "We are working hard…I think this one is going to be good..."

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