Less than a month away from the annual emancipation celebrations, debris from the disasters that happened almost nine months ago are finally being cleared from the festival grounds in Road Town.
City Manager Janice Braithwaite-Edwards told BVI News the work started in earnest on Friday, June 29.
“We intend to be there over the weekend into early next week (this week) so that within another week’s time we can hand it over to the VI Festival and Fairs Committee,” she told BVI News.
“We are cleaning it with the intention that the festival can be held at festival grounds”.
Her remarks come amid talk that other locations such as the E Walwyn Brewley softball field were being considered to host the festivities this year.
Two more weeks before festival lineup revealed
Meanwhile, when BVI News spoke with Chairman of the Festival and Fairs Committee Trefor Grant late last week, he said members of the public will have to wait at least 10 more days before ‘concrete’ information on the festival is released.
He said a meeting about the upcoming festivities is scheduled with Culture Minister Myron Walwyn this week.
“The lineup or the artistes have not been confirmed or released because this has to be submitted to the honourable minister and he has to review them with Cabinet,” Grant said.
He said following their approval, the lineup will be publicised.
The festival is usually held late July to early August.
Asked why festival preparations are so delayed, Grant said: “The Standing Finance Committee only deliberated and approved the condensed budget for festival around mid-April. It’s only then we as a committee were able to know if there was indeed going to be a festival this year.”
In May, Walwyn said some $700,000 was budgeted for this year’s emancipation festivities, which will be scaled down because of other financial responsibilities caused by last year’s hurricanes.
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.
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