Crop-Over takes to the Parkway
In a move designed to take Crop-Over international, the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is helping to finance a Barbadian costume band in today’s massive West Indian Carnival in Brooklyn.
The annual colourful Caribbean festival attracts as many as two million spectators, who watch dozens of bands and thousands of revellers play mas’ along Eastern Parkway, and NCF chairman Ken Knight said the decision to sponsor the band would pay marketing and promotional dividends next year with an even larger attendance at Crop-Over.
“We are re-branding Crop-Over, making it a more internationally branded festival. It is important for us to start with the diaspora, and that’s currently one of our marketing strategies, developing Crop-Over into an international festival,” Knight told the DAILY NATION.
“We want to make it a world-recognised brand. We feel we have to start with our own people, spreading the word. Barbadians living abroad are probably the best ambassadors. It is fundamentally important.”
Knight, who lived for years in Atlanta and spearheaded the formation of the National Association Of Barbados Organisations in the United states, explained that the NCF was contributing US$26 000 to the formation of the costume band and to help bring some of Barbados’ top entertainers to New York City for the carnival festival.
The carnival began on Thursday and ends this evening with the parade of costumed revellers down the famous tree-lined thoroughfare.
“It’s a . . . very small figure in the scheme of things when it comes to marketing,” he added. “We get the maximum bounce for the money we do put up.
“We have a number of Barbadian artistes who appear on the vehicle and this year it is being featured by Blood, who won the Road March and Party Monarch contests.
“He and his band, the Soca Kartel, with a featured artiste on the Labour Day truck this year will be participating.”
Red Plastic Bag is also scheduled to join the band.
Steve Blackett Minister of Culture is also in New York and is expected to join the band as well.