Crop Over is more than a festival; it is ???a celebration of our identity as a people???.
This view was expressed by Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, at the official launch of the Crop Over Festival last weekend in Heroes Square.
Urging persons to embrace the history of the Crop Over Festival, the Minister insisted that Barbadians should not forget the sacrifices made by the forefathers of the nation, sacrifices which, according to the Minister, ???have allowed us to enjoy the quality of life to which we have grown accustomed???.
???We must not, as we make merry, forget our plantations; the conflicts that would have taken place in the arena of the plantation, as our ancestors fought for our freedom. We have to remember that at the heart of our festival must be the retention of our cultural heritage,??? he maintained.
While encouraging Barbadians to embrace the festival???s history and to participate in the various events, Mr. Lashley cautioned persons to be responsible in their revelling.
He also noted that there was a need to return to the traditional costume designs, where more emphasis would be placed on Barbadian themes reflecting the country???s rich history and past.
Acknowledging the decline in the quality of costume innovation over the years, the Minister stated that there would soon be a review of Crop Over through a national consultation.
However, the Minister noted that Crop Over 2015 was shaping up to be a good year, and stated that ???indications are that this festival will even be bigger and brighter than 2014???.