At least two significant changes have been made to this year’s staging of the emancipation celebrations — the reintroduction of the three-day Carrot Bay Fest and the addition of a new event to the schedule of events.
According to Stuart Donovan — a member of the Festival & Fair’s Committee — a wet fete will be added to this year’s festivities.
“The wet fete … will be on August Tuesday in the morning. We’ll have Asa Bantan performing for that along with the ABN Band,” Donovan told members of the media on Wednesday.
The festival commences with the annual Gospel Fest on July 25 and the official opening of the Road Town Festival Village, which will remain open from July 26 to August 6.
Thursday, August 1 will be the annual Calypso Show, which will see 10 participants competing for this year’s crown and a cash prize of $7,500. The first and second runner-ups will be awarded cash prizes of $3,500 and $2,500, respectively.
Also in the Village on August 7 will be the Soca Monarch competition, which will have seven persons competing for that title.
The East End festivities will begin on July 28 with the Mr and Ms Junior BVI pageant followed by the Festival of Culture and Praise and a Food Fair on August 3.
A beach picnic at Beef Island is set for August 4 while the Rise & Shine Tramp is scheduled for August 5.
Carrot Bay has reverted to three days of activities with the Cultural Fiesta along with the Oliver ‘Ollie’ Turnbull fishermen’s tournament commencing on August 8, Cultural Activities Day on August 9, and Cultural Market Day on August 10.
Kiddies Fiesta Returns
Also making a return to the calendar of events is the Kiddies Fiesta for the first time since 2017 and is scheduled for July 20.
The fiesta will include back-to-school giveaways for youngsters. This is being made possible through public and private sponsorship from organisations such as the Rotary Club of Road Town.
Meanwhile, sub-chairman of the FFC’s Parade Committee Ottley Hodge said there has been an increase of troops this year and for the first time, there will be three stalls built to accommodate persons along the roadways. These stalls are being erected to help keep patrons entertained with activities until the parade reaches their location.
The slogan for this year’s festivities is “A Colourful Cultural Vibe as BVI Festival turns 65”. The slogan was submitted by Khadejae Hull while the theme, which was written by Tonya Vanterpool, is “BVI Festival 2019: Honouring all generations – Let’s commemorate the 65th emancipation celebration”.