Organisers of this year’s emancipation festivities have not yet decided on a budget for the event but said festival-goers can expect a scaledown of the festivities.
Culture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said in a BVI News interview that an exact figure has not been determined because the festival, which will run from July 25 to August 10, is still being planned.
“They (the Festival & Fairs Committee) are at the stage of planning the festival and that will determine the budget … They will have to present me with something pretty soon,” the Culture Minister said.
As for the segments that will be cut from this year’s staging of the event, Chairman of the Virgin Islands Festivals & Fairs Committee Carnel Clyne said “cutbacks will come from the East End side and Carrot Bay side”.
“It wouldn’t be as grand as it used to be,” he explained. “East End, for example, used to have a parade, that wouldn’t happen. East End, for example, used to have a Queen’s Show, that wouldn’t happen. Carrot Bay’s home is still damaged. There is no place to close in and fence in to be able to charge [an admission fee]. So, the line-up [of artistes] wouldn’t be as grand as Road Town’s line-up would be.”
This year, the festival which is in its 65th year will be named in honour of a band and will be under the theme ‘BVI Festival 2019, Honouring All Generations – Let’s Commemorate the 65th Emancipation Celebration’.
The festivities will also be carrying the slogan ‘A Colourful Cultural Vibe As BVI Festival Turns 65”.
Each staging of a festival is typically named after a single individual. But Chairman Clyne explained that organisers decided to name it after a band they believed have contributed significantly to the festival in the past.
“That band is Prime Time Band,” Clyne said.
“We chose a theme and a slogan based on folks pouring in their themes and slogans and we are going to reward the theme person and the slogan person shortly.”
A Calendar of events for the festivities is expected to be released soon.
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