Wednesday 18 September, 2019

Early scheduling issues no excuse to opt out of CARIFESTA XIII

Some parents used the opportunity to take their children to learn about the cultures of the Caribbean at the CARIFESTA XIII Grand Market. This dad bought his daughter a bracelet.

Some parents used the opportunity to take their children to learn about the cultures of the Caribbean at the CARIFESTA XIII Grand Market. This dad bought his daughter a bracelet.

Partaking in CARIFESTA XIII did not require boatloads of money or any money in some cases, especially since the Grand Market was made free two days after the Opening Ceremony.

Making this point and stressing that CARIFESTA XIII is a priceless experience for anyone willing to partake in the activities and festivities with an open mind, was the Festival Director for CARIFESTA XIII, Andrea Wells.

Wells spoke to Loop News at the Grand Market as she stood in the Home Décor section within the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC) last night, Friday, August 25, 2017.

She said:

“While sales are always good and always welcomed by various exhibitors, the experience and exchange that comes about from learning about the culture and the arts of sister States, I think is an education that is available for free for anybody who wishes to take it from this festival.

“We still have many free stages. With the Grand Market being free, the country night programme is free. The music showcase programme is free. Bay Street, Oistins, Speightstown, spaces like that remain free for people to come out, watch, applaud and enjoy our visiting neighbours and artists from Barbados who also appear on these stages.”

And she urged, “I think the biggest opportunity is to come out, interface, network and learn about your Caribbean neighbours and celebrate. Celebrate that there is so much beauty in the diversity of our cultures.”

In terms of the feedback from vendors and artists with today being the last day of the Grand Market, she said:

“Responses to the festival have been mixed.

“We had a number of challenges at the onset regarding some scheduling issues, but these I think have settled down. We really turned the corner in terms of the settled calendar and the clear communication about the changes to calendar after Tuesday of this week. After Tuesday as well, the Grand Market has been free to the public and all exhibitors have expressed their great pleasure with increased please, which is always good at a market of this type.

“We’re getting increasing numbers at many of our community performances and the artists are therefore quite happy that their work is being consumed and enjoyed by the Barbadian as well as other visiting delegations.”

With today being the second of two consecutive Sale Days at the Grand Market, she said she hopes, “it will end on a high.”

After the changes to the schedule brought about by the untimely visit of Tropical Storm Harvey, Wells admitted, “it took a while to get ourselves reorganised and resorted, but I’m happy now that I think things are going along at a reasonable pace and the various activities are getting their audiences, and in the case of Grand Market, their sales.

“So all in all, I think I’m quite happy and look forward with optimism to Saturday, the last day of Grand Market and exhibitions and then Sunday where we celebrate the entire festival with a closing ceremony at Kensington Oval.”

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