Bridgetown will come alive next month as the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) takes the opening celebrations for the Crop Over Festival back to the heart of The City.
The Republic Bank Crop Over City Fest And Ceremonial Delivery Of The Last Cane was launched today as Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited contributed $65,000 towards of the cost of the Saturday, June 28 event.
The NCF’s chief executive officer Cranston Browne said the foundation had sought to transform the previous gala concept to reignite excitement.
“If we go back in history, Bridgetown was actually the site of the first celebration of the Crop Over Festival, and I am also told that it has a long history for the bank which includes the sugar manufacturing era. So that for us in our 40th year, we are bringing it back home,” Browne told this
“This year, the New Republic Crop Over City Fest And Ceremonial Delivery Of The Last Canes will, in addition to its usual cultural displays of our heritage, highlight among its target publics the potential and importance of cultural and heritage tourism to the economy. From a commercial perspective, it will provide a unique outlet in the many sections planned for the event, for the merchants, vendors, artisans, artistes and designers to get involved,”
Giving an overview of the upcoming event in the capital, senior business development officer and producer at the NCF, Alison Sealy-Smith, said Swan Street would, in keeping with the kind of customers, traditions and practices, be represented as a vibrant and interactive marketplace.
She further disclosed that Jubilee Gardens would be the scene of a gospel music showcase; a NIFCA marketplace with space to both exhibit and sell fine art, pottery, photography, basketry, jewellery, leather and woodcraft; a NIFCA Performing Arts Show; and karaoke at Sarge’s Sports Bar.
Activities will also be staged at Beckwith Taxi Stand, McGregor Street, Prince William Henry Street, Broad Street, The Boardwalk, Parliament Buildings, Heroes Square, The Careenage, and the Constitution River. Speaking at the formal handing over of Republic Bank’s cheque for the event, manager, marketing and corporate communications Deborah Stoute reiterated the bank’s commitment to the staging and success of the Crop Over Festival and its support of the NCF’s efforts to ensure the continued development and longevity of Crop Over.
“Our relationship with the festival is a long and meaningful one. It spans more than 20 years and encompasses our participation in the form of a costumed band to sponsorship of the annual Folk Concert held in the Queen’s Park Steel Shed and for the last 14 years, the staging of the official start of Crop Over –– The Opening Gala.
“To most Barbadians, Crop Over doesn’t quite begin until the Ceremonial Delivery Of The Last Canes,” she said, as she pointed out that the bank’s support of cultural activities could be traced from the community right through to the national level.
Stoute said the bank would continue its collaboration with the NCF to ensure the City Fest was “impactful, interesting, fully engaging and totally enjoyable for all those who journey to Bridgetown for the official start of the 2014 Crop Over Festival”.