Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has described the recently concluded Crop Over Festival as a resounding success.

Mr. Stuart made the comments last night at the annual Crop Over Reception at Ilaro Court, which was attended by the Governor General, Sir Elliott Belgrave, members of Cabinet, diplomats, visitors, and Barbadians from all walks of life.

The Prime Minister congratulated and thanked those who had exerted themselves to ensure the festival was exquisitely and flawlessly executed. ???A lot of effort is put into the preparation for the annual Crop Over festivities and I can attest that officials in the Ministry of Culture, led by the Minister [Stephen Lashley] and officials at the National Cultural Foundation went beyond the call of duty to ensure we had a very successful Crop Over 2013,??? he told the gathering.

He expressed the view that the festival was growing larger every year and said it was an indication that its standards were rising. ???And, it continues to attract the attention of people from all corners of the globe. I was very pleased to hear from the Minister of Tourism [Richard Sealy] that the visitor figures looked very, very good during this Crop Over Season, in spite of all of the challenges that countries across the world have been facing as a result of the global economic downturn???

Winner of the Sweet Soca Competition, Andy “Blood” Armstrong, entertains the crowd yesterday at the Crop Over Reception at Ilaro Court. (A.Miller/BGIS)

???I could not be dissuaded from having this reception this year because I continue to be told that every year Crop Over generates about $86 million in economic activity. If that is true, and I have never heard those figures contradicted, it is my view that it is but a very small way of saying, ???thank you???, to devote a few thousand dollars of that $86 million to a reception of this kind,??? Mr. Stuart stated.

During the evening, the Prime Minister also congratulated the King of the Crop, Grantley Hurley; Queen of the Crop, Judy Cumberbatch; and the Barbados Culinary Team.

Performers during the night included Pic-O-De Crop winner Ian Webster, Blood who won the Sweet Soca Competition; Soca Kartel and Biggie Irie.??

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