Government has finally released details of plans to honour seven-time Road March winner, Mighty Grynner, after details leaked in a viral social media photo.
Grynner – real name MacDonald Blenman – is to stake a permanent claim to the title of ‘king of the road’ with the renaming of the Spring Garden Highway as the Mighty Grynner Highway on Saturday, it has been announced.
A sign bearing the new name was briefly installed and later taken down after the photos prompted a wave of congratulation and speculation.
A lavish unveiling ceremony is to be held at the mile-long tarmac stretch’s junction with the Exmouth Corner. A monument designed by two-time Crop Over Festival Designer of the Year, Kevin Small is to be erected on the highway and three signposts with the new name are be installed along the stretch, it was revealed.
The event which is to be streamed live, is to feature live performances from the Red Boyz Band, of which the Mighty Grynner was a founding member, as well as the Royal Barbados Police Force Band, the Barbados Defence Force Band, the St Leonard’s 100 Boys Choir and a cast of noted Barbadian calypsonians who are to to honour the revered calypso stalwart.
Minister of the Creative Economy and Culture John King in unveiling plans to journalists at a news conference today,
stressed that cultural practitioners should be recognised and honoured by the public before they die.
“The time has come when Barbadians and Barbados must celebrate people when they are alive and not wait until they are on the other side and then talk about how great they are.”
Grynner has claimed fame from the early 1970s with hits such as Crop Over Bacchanal, Ah Coming, Leggo I Hand and most recently, Turn On De Speaker and King O’ De Stage.
The veteran calypsonian-turned-culture Minister contended that the 78-year-old legend has waved “the flag for Barbadian calypso” over years.
King said: “I remember in the early eighties and late seventies there were not a lot of people recording music and you could depend on Grynner to provide you with that infectious music that everybody wanted to dance to and touring with him you could see the respect and love that he would gather from people all over the diaspora.”
The Ministry of Information is to disseminate all updates on road closures and traffic diversions via social media, and on radio and television for the two-hour ceremony, which begins at 4:30 p.m.