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Party Monarch under lights

Yvette BEST

Party Monarch under lights

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IT’S BACK TO the gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex for two major Crop Over 2011 events.
After years of being away from the National Stadium, the Pic-O-De-Crop semi-finals and Junior Monarch Finals were back there last year. Stakeholders objected and it’s back to the gymnasium for the July 22 and July 23 events, respectively.
Another change unveiled at a National Cultural Foundation hosted sponsors’ breakfast and launch at Hilton Barbados yesterday will see the main element of the Soca Royale – the Party Monarch competition – transformed into a night-time event.
Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley said the change under lights “will be further motivation to our finalists who can take the opportunity to add more sparkle to their presentation”.
The change to a later time was welcomed by defending Party Monarch Anderson Blood Armstrong and two-time Sweet Soca champ Terencia TC?Coward, who both felt that it was a “fantastic” move.
The clash has been taken out of the Soca Royale event, but the car remains.
The WEEKEND NATION understands that the car will be part of the prize to the Party Monarch winner. As of yesterday, none was in the offing for the Sweet Soca winner.
This year’s festival gets off to an unofficial start on May 14 with a youth rally and cavalcade on May 14 at the Briar Hall Playing Field, Christ Church.
The BNB Opening Gala and Ceremonial Delivery of the last canes will be held in Queen’s Park on July 2.
Those two events are months away and Lashley said marketing was a “critical focus for us” in ensuring that as many people as possible come to Barbados to celebrate.
To that end, he said the NCF and the Barbados Tourism Authority had signed an agreement which would see the two agencies working together to “ensure the smooth coordination and implementation of an effective international marketing thrust for Crop Over”.
The Follow Me To Crop Over promotion, which used to be rolled out at Trinidad Carnival, followed by the St Lucia Jazz Festival and Labour Day in New York is currently “under review”.