New events will be coming for Crop Over 2014, while others will be eliminated for this year???s festivities.
Speaking at a Crop Over press briefing yesterday at the Ministry of Culture, Sky Mall, Minister Stephen Lashley disclosed that the cavalcades, a planned heritage bus tour, the two Evenings of Interpretation (Crop Over Visual Arts Festival), a Pan Yard Lime and a new initiative, Bridgetown Market at Pelican, would not be taking place.
???We have had to cancel the cavalcades this year, they were scheduled to start on May 3???We are however, inviting the private sector to come on board, by means of meaningful partnerships; and indeed any community groups willing to produce one or more of the cavalcades, the National Cultural Foundation is indeed willing to have a discussion,??? he said, adding that this proposition also extended to other cancelled events for this year.
Despite these eliminations, the Crop Over lineup will be boosted by new and improved events, including a Crop Over Crawl which will be held on May 24. The Minister said: ???On June 1, we start the main festival with the 40th Anniversary Crop Over Thanksgiving Service and Flower Festival. The Flower Festival component is indeed a new initiative this year, as we seek to diversify the festival???
???A new event specifically for the 40th Anniversary will be the Crop Over Lecture, which will be held in Queen???s Park Steel Shed???The Opening Gala, which is usually held in Queen???s Park, has been re-conceptualised and we are staging a major launch in Bridgetown entitled City Fest and Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes,??? he said. Mr. Lashley explained that this was collaboration with the Barbados Chamber of Commerce.
Other activities include the Heritage Walk, which took place on June 9 last year, but will be held on July 20, to facilitate greater participation from persons coming into the country for the season; a Plantation Feast; the Speightstown Market, which the Minister observed had a ???phenomenal response??? last year; and the Crop Over Gospel Concert.
Another staple of the season, Foreday Morning Jump, will also have its share of changes, including a new route and omitting the helipad as an assembly point. Explaining the changes, Mr. Lashley said: ???I have indicated to the National Cultural Foundation that the event ought to be held on a separate day, which is the Saturday. I am aware that there may be some concerns from early churchgoers???but the NCF and all of the partners involved in Foreday Morning will take all the necessary precautions to ensure there is no encroachment.???
He added that the event would run from 10:00 p.m. and end at 6:00 a.m., with 70 bands set to parade this year-up from 42 in 2013. Minister Lashley also stated that the NCF notified all band leaders that Foreday Morning was not going to be a replica of Grand Kadooment. He explained that the elements that were synonymous with ???pretty mas??? such as feathers, beads or ornate wear should not become part of Foreday Morning Jam.
In his wide ranging briefing, the Culture Minister also revealed that Pan Fusion would feature an all-inclusive VIP section, as would ???Pan Pun de Sand???, in an effort to offset the ???tremendous cost??? of hosting the free event, with the popular ???Pan in de City??? and Cruise to Speightstown to be held again this year.
Other events which will undergo changes are: Junior Kadooment, which will not feature an after party this year; the Party Monarch preliminaries will not be judged in the calypso tents, but instead through CD submissions of songs, with semifinals to be held in collaboration with Brewster???s Road Crew; and Grand Kadooment will once again start at the National Stadium.
Sites for Cohobblopot, which the Minister said is ???fully outsourced??? and the Pic O De Crop Finals, are yet to be determined, while the Wildey Gymnasium has been chosen as the location for the Junior Monarch Competition.