The organizers of Puff of Colour (POC) contend on the event’s website that it will help you “forget a few worries and leave with a smile on your face”.
However, the managers of Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens at The Ridge, Christ Church will not soon forget a brawl early yesterday morning that followed the six-hour event, neither has it left a smile on their faces.
On the contrary, President of Coral Ridge Group Peter Griffith was left fuming after several patrons who had left the paint, water and powder fete at Searles Quarry took their fracas to the cemetery and left behind a yet undetermined amount in damage.
Several videos surfaced on social media in which young men were seen hurling rocks and metal objects while trampling graves.
Griffith said the time had come for the POC organizers, who said on their website that “some see it as a soca rave, others a full playground, but most think of it as a chance to have an all out good time”, to take the event elsewhere.
“I don’t even know who the promoters are, and I read that they would not comment until they had a meeting with their entire committee. But it would be interesting to find out what their position is and I really don’t know how we can persuade these people to do something different or to move away from the area. But around Coral Ridge is not the place,” he said while adding: “You can’t come into a neighbourhood playing loud music and people can’t sleep all night and into the morning, and then the fireworks.”
Griffith told Barbados TODAY Coral Ridge was seeking legal advice “on how we can proceed with this matter of recouping any costs to us and at the same time we are going to be pursuing help from the police and neighbours to see if we can prevent the function from being up there”.
He said every year the event posed problems for the 26-acre burial ground, but “this is the worst so far”.
“We cannot sit back on it and let this thing continue and make matters worse,” Griffith said.
He said the damage to the cemetery had set back operations significantly, explaining that the rowdy group uprooted burial ground markers and used them as weapons.
“We now have to go through the burial register to see who was buried and where they were buried and see if they [the markers] are there. It is going to be a tedious job and unless we are sure about a particular spot we will not be permitted burial until the task is completed,” he said.
While stating it was still too early to determine the full extent of the damage, Griffith said the affected part of the cemetery might be out of commission for about a week.
“We are going to have to reinstate all the markers and it will involve getting a surveyor and all of that. We have to make sure that everything is done so correctly that there are no mistakes in interments with people going in to the wrong grave and that kind of thing.”