Barbados intends to expand its Crop Over Festival!
So says Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, as he spoke to international journalists who were at the Hilton Hotel last Saturday to cover Crop Over 2013. Minister Lashley said the way forward was for Barbados to create more events that would attract the Barbadian diaspora and other potential visitors alike.
Explaining that the National Cultural Foundation had produced ???an excess of 35 events for the season??? which received record levels of patronage, he stated, ???most of those events have been sold out so that means that next year we can have a bigger festival.???
He outlined that this year???s festival included a gospel concert, steel pan events, heritage tours and nights, literary and theatre arts activities, visual arts exhibitions with Evenings of Interpretations, competitions as well as the usual mas activities.
??????One of our goals was to produce a Crop Over Festival that was more diversified in its offering and that gave everyone something to look forward to,??? Mr. Lashley reported.
Further noting that his ministry had a ???symbiotic relationship??? with the Ministry of Tourism, he told the press that within the context of Barbados??? history as a small island developing nation, heritage was an important aspect of what the island sought to offer.
??????What makes Crop Over in Barbados particularly special is that within the context of Crop Over, we always say it is more than a carnival. It occurs during the Season of Emancipation and that is particularly important for us because many of the events every year reflect emancipation [and our] history. We focus on that as a key element of awareness as a country… So, Crop Over then becomes much more than celebrating our mas, it is really celebrating our cultural heritage and experience,??? the Culture Minister asserted.
He believed that these areas were critical selling points for the island especially to Barbadians in the diaspora and other visitors ??? especially those persons interested in researching history and emancipation.??