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Crop over Changes

April 19, 2008

GOVERNMENT has announced more changes for Crop Over 2008. In addition, Prime Minister David Thompson said his administration is prepared to allow private players to help run Crop Over in the future, by assuming some of the activities currently undertaken by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF). Thompson, along with Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett, and NCF chairman, Ken Knight, spoke yesterday during a sponsors’ breakfast at Sherbourne Conference Centre.

During that event, it was revealed that following many years at the National Stadium, Kensington Oval would be used for three of the festival’s largest events. Additionally, revellers jamming from the Stadium on Grand Kadooment day will be doing so on two routes for the first time.

Blackett disclosed that following some hiccups last year, which saw its use during the 2007 edition of the festival eventually abandoned, the redeveloped Kensington Oval would host the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals and Cohoblopot. It will also be the location for Junior Kadooment this year.

“Last Crop Over, the idea was mooted for some of the events to be moved to the newly renovated Kensington Oval. Those plans fell through for one reason or the other. Nevertheless, I am pleased to announce that two of the Crop Over major events, the (Pic-O-De-Crop) Finals and Cohoblopot, will be held at that venue,” Blackett said.

“The logistical arrangements for parking and other related matters will be announced by the NCF (National Cultural Foundation) in good time, to allow Barbados to feel comfortable with this new arrangement,” he added.

National Cultural Foundation (NCF) chairman Ken Knight also announced that in addition to the traditional route leaving the stadium and proceeding down Station Hill, officials had decided to have another one also leaving the stadium.

“There will be two routes for the masqueraders from the (National) Stadium to Spring Garden. In addition to the original route, which takes us along Station Hill, masquerade bands will also travel along Bush Hall to Bank Hall,” he stated.

Thompson said the NCF was doing a good job; and Government intended to allow other individuals to help plan Crop Over.

“I hope we can get it out of our psyche that the only way Crop Over can take place is if the Government controls and runs the entire festival. I give full endorsement to the work which the National Cultural Foundation is doing, but I hope that overtime they can hand over a lot of those activities to the large number of new players who can truly make Crop Over a national festival,” he noted.

In addition to the above changes, Knight said in an effort to place greater emphasis on security matters, the NCF had acquired the services of former assistant Commissioner of Police, Louis Sealy.

While he said the first Banks and Cable & Wireless Calvacade would take place at the NCF carpark, West Terrace, St. James, on May 9, Blackett said a new Inter-Parish Float Competition would be part of the festival.

It will see floats representing the 11 parishes, accompanied by the parish ambassadors depicting seven aspects of their various communities; it will then be travelling to Queen’s Park in The City.

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