Amid concerns over nudity and lewd behaviour at the just-concluded St Lucia Carnival, authorities here are not worried they will have similar issues come Kadooment Day.
Chief executive officer of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Senator Rudy Grant said Crop Over revellers were usually well behaved on the road and he had no fear that nudity would be a cause for concern.
Several reports and videos circulated of nudity and lewd acts during St Lucia Carnival, particularly during J’ouvert. Agnes Francis, chairperson of Events Company of Saint Lucia – the organizers of Carnival 2019 – condemned such behaviour and called on police to be tougher.
She described the actions of some adults as “unacceptable” and criticized them for behaving in that manner as children watched on.
Francis told reporters in Castries: “I saw about two or three kids watching when a guy’s face was in a lady’s bum – sorry but that’s what I saw and I had to turn them away.”
This is not what our carnival is about,” she was quoted by the St Lucia Times news website as saying.
“I don’t mind the merriment; I don’t mind adult behavior; but when you have spectators who are not able to take their children to view the event, there is something that we have to do.
“We can’t just put our hands up and say ‘This is the way of the world – this is the way it is going.”
But Senator Grant told reporters here that while concerns had been raised in the past regarding skimpy costumes, nudity was not normally a problem in Barbados.
He said: “I certainly haven’t heard or had reference with me any issues of nudity in Barbados.
“I know over the years persons have commented at times about the type of costumes that some persons wear, but certainly the issue of nudity is not one as far as I am aware that has been an issue that has been of national concern.
“Of course we would expect that persons enjoying themselves on Kadooment Day would do so in a manner that adheres to the law and would do so in a manner that is respectful, but would still allow them to have a wonderful time, but I don’t believe that is an issue in Barbados at this time.”
He said he expected the increased visitor traffic to the island to thoroughly enjoy the Crop Over season.
Senator Grant said it was shaping up to be a bumper festival, with only a few hotels having experienced sub-par bookings.
He told reporters: “Overall we believe that the performance this year will be as good as last year, but of course it will only be until we have reviewed and seen what the actual numbers are that we will know, but we don’t expect a decline at all.
“The booking patterns are changing and what is happening is that persons are booking a lot later.
“There are some properties that have indicated that it is somewhat challenging, but one of the things which we have observed is that very often the projection with respect to occupancy is a lot better in actuality than is anticipated because persons are booking a lot later to come to the destinations.”