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$700K to fund festival this year

Patrons at the festival village in Road Town during a previous year of emancipation festivities.

Some $700,000 has been budgeted for this year’s emancipation festivities, which kick off in August.

Culture Minister Myron Walwyn disclosed the figure during an interview with BVI News on Sunday.

The Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee is now expected to present a festival report to the minister this week.

“I gave them with the responsibility of making the $700,000 work and to do a report with recommendations in terms of what they think festival should be for this year and possibly setting a precedent going forward.”

“I asked them to consider everything including the length of the festivities, to look at the duplication that takes place at the various festivities at times, and to make various recommendations in terms of the shows; which activities to keep, look at them individually — what are the best components to keep and see how we can make everything work,” explained Walwyn while answering questions on whether the Carrot Bay and East End leg of the festivities will be included this year.

His ministry announced recently that this year’s festivities are being scaled down because of the territory’s other financial responsibilities caused by the September hurricanes.

So far, only the Emancipation Service, festival village entertainment, the Miss BVI pageant, the August Monday Parade, and the Rise and Shine Tramp have been confirmed as part of this year’s activities.

During a meeting in Carrot Bay back in December, Walwyn said the annual cost of festival runs close to $2 million.  

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28 Comments

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  1. Observer says:

    Can the decision be made to have ONE week of Festival this year to include the cultural day in Carrot Bay, beach picnic in east end and one week of village activities in Road Town and have ONE festival village for the entire emancipation festival, other than that too much waste

    2+

  2. No name says:

    So how much is allocated for the rebuilding of the schools??????

    2+

  3. Concern BVIslander says:

    Mr. Minister if you want to have a festival for the people of the BVI. I would recommend that it should be there days of festival August Monday Tuesday and Wednesday. The minister need to consider that there is still lots of people that is still homeless and jobless still suffering and still been housed in uncomfortable situation and we speaking of people who live in Tortola people who are from here. This is a serious times in our country Mr. Education Minister. We need to start looking at how to save and not spend any more money wastefully. $700K is a lot of money to waste for festival at this time.

    4+

  4. Laura says:

    $700K to free up and people are still homeless, some still jobless, emotional and mental issues on the rise, hurricane shelters still not mended and there is a surplus of money for FUN ! (don’t get me wrong there needs to be some form of recreation for the people to relieve themselves of IRma/MAria BUT can’t that be done in 3 days).

    Our need to appease the world and not ourselves is seriously skewed.#wakeupBVI

    4+

  5. Diana says:

    I have a suggestion for this year’s festival.
    Start with activities from June-July especially our cultural activities and the calypso show which shows why we have this celebration. Open the Festival Village on August 1st, the activities on this day should include the reading on the Emancipation Act. Also have it as a Cultural Night where every national from different countries can present or depict something from their home country. One activity I would like to see make a come back is the Peas and Rice Competition and the Best Decorated Booth Competition. This can be on Wednesday night also.
    On Thursday have the final for the Calypso Show along with village entertainment. Friday the usual reggae show. Saturday International Artist Night. Sunday the Heritage Service at the Sunday Morning Well and Miss BVI Pageant. Monday Morning
    Rise and Shine, Parade. Tuesday Afternoon incase were not able to have horse racing, we can have water sport activities in the afternoon or some form of sporting activity.

    In the East End, the usual rise and shine along with the plan activities. In Carrot Bay, Thursday and Friday for there activities. Back to Road Town on Saturday where we bring the curtain down with fire works and village entertainment. This is just my two cents.

    2+

    • SMH says:

      Come like you cant hear/understand that it’s just $700K going towards this thing, with all them ideas you coming with. Ayu just know how to drop people down!

      1+

  6. WELL says:

    I agree with you this minister lost his mind look at condition of this place. Let us enjoy what we have until we can do better. To take that amount of money for festival and it can put to better use that is a disgrace all I say is good luck to the BVI.

    0

  7. Look south says:

    Amounts to about $ 500 per adult in the Territory, not that all would go. How many would be prepared to pay that much as a cover charge?

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  8. joke says:

    This is not a good decision Myron. I am not against a festival, but let those who want it go ahead at their own expense. Why not cancel village and have various community activities whereby those who want to participate can have their own vending stalls (don’t even have to be booths)and have a shifting from the vulgar and obscene type to something similar to what it use to be back in the day. Just my take…no one has to agree, but I am free to give my own opinion

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  9. Priorities says:

    I can clearly see where the priorities of this Government lies. People are still struggling, homeless, jobless, mentally and emotionally stressed and instead of assisting persons you choose to pump $700,000. into a festival that would last a few hours? WOW. I am very disappointed to see this.

    1+

  10. rigmarole says:

    This Rise and Shine Tramp is simply D— Worship.
    Last year as I stood and observed, it dawned on me that this is nothing but D—- Worship. I was not surprised when later that same day a flood put an end to all activities. This should be removed from the celebrations….the caliber of the performances on stage should also be looked at….some people think it is fun but its not funny…I agree with LAURA about our skewed need to appease the world…stop allowing the tail to wag the dog.

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  11. Richgdgy says:

    WOW!

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  12. Concern says:

    If 700K is scaled back. How about do what they did VG, a food fair, a beach day, and a lil parade or Jouvert. That can be held for 50K if that much.

    2+

  13. 4 REAL??? says:

    The territory is not even half way normal as how it use to be… once again ppl are still JOBLESS, HOMELESS, and some even still going through some serious PTSD not to mention internet service still SUCK like SH*T. I’ve always been told to focus on priorities first and then all else will follow after.

    The BVI does NOT need to have a festival this year period! It’s literally on a hospital bed right now and still needs major surgery. ALL NDP ministers this is your term in government remember that eh!! Yall doing pure BULLSH*T!!!!

    1+

  14. Fast and Furious says:

    Well well wow!!! So much money allocated to the festivites when the place is still in a mess, plus how dey hyping up festival and Miss BVI show and the QUEEN and RUNNERS Up still aint get dey prizes yet!! Das like a slap in them face mehson!

    2+

    • Wow!!! says:

      Is that the nonsense that is really going on?!!? Our priorities are all over the damn place. SHAME ON YOU NDP!!!!

      0

  15. NB says:

    Myron you are out of place to actually want to have festival this year. 700K? You must be smoking w—- boss man. The people…if you are a caring minister it should be ‘your people’ are suffering. The schools are bad. You need m——- evaluation. Perhaps the stress is getting to you.

    0

  16. Interesting says:

    Ask him if he really have $700K because government already can’t pay vendors for non festival commitments much less festival commitments.

    0

  17. Open Sesame says:

    So they stop do understand raisers like fish fries to get in the mood? Hmm.

    0

  18. Really? says:

    why Can’t festival season be a celebration for what we just experienced last year y’all behaving like we are not alive other places that has been affected by any storms isn’t stopping any of their annual celebrations why should be
    Festival also brings in money for The territory which we do need more of. Festival cost millions so this right here is not bad, they already scale down the festival. if any of y’all dont want to participate stay home it’s that simple y’all look to complain about every and anything that comes up if it’s not for you don’t bash it let people live mehn we have one life to live! Let me enjoy my festival if you don’t want to then do you!!

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  19. Just Wow says:

    I send thousands of dollars in cash assistance to BVIslanders, ship needed goods to help them rebuild and govt has 700k to burn on festivals? WTF is going on there people ? Get your priorities together. Absolutely ludicrous the amountofgovtfunds spent on entertainment.

    0

  20. Responder says:

    I see that u were not affected by the hurricane at all and u are very much still stuck in that s—- tola mentality not thinking of things in the long run but only in the moment. Yolo right? Ppl are still devastated by what happen and god have mercy on this small island but it may happen again… Irma and Maria was a lesson to be taught that u obvious didnt get. That money can be place into better use other than for a couple if days of jump ups which is not tangible for anyone at this moment.

    0

  21. Wow says:

    Is this for real , the teachers of my kids school is asking for ink for their copiers to print stuff for the kids and this is what you are doing with well needed monies when there is so much need in this country .look at the children of this country as the minister of education ,Do you think that these kids are being treated fairly under you and your government ?why is it that our kids must suffer because of your inexperience of governing ?The people of this country had enough of this crazy behavior of this NDP government where is England when you need it most this has to stop everything is at a standstill except for festival and August Monday was the start of the plages to this country but who don’t hear will feel

    1+

  22. BIG Joke!! says:

    Are the people in authority for real? Where are their priorities? Catering to the immodest and immoral? What about those hurting people who are still experiencing hardships as a result of the natural disasters that impacted us?
    We enjoyed the seven years of plenty…now that the seven years of hardship are upon us, we have to squeeze in our belts tight and do more with less.
    It is no longer business as usual, people. Time to wake up and face reality.

    0

  23. Money says:

    $700k devide it by the amount of people in the territory and share it .

    0

  24. *Hmm says:

    BS & more BS! Government have been sinking millions every year into festival but my question is what do they ever make back? Where does the $$ go? How is it spent? How is it allocated? At the end of every festival where’s the accounting?

    This country in such a bind Jah alone knows when we will catch ourselves but it sure as hell isn’t now yet the government find a whole $700k for festival but can’t get the place in order for the ships to come? I would like to know where they got it from….come on Myron is this from the $60m reserve (if anything even leave it in it) or y’all start tapping into that $400m grant?

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