EDITORIAL: Festival makes the grade
The Crop Over revelry is about to reach fever pitch as we prepare to bring the curtain down on what seems to have been a successful season.
Even the inconvenience of shifting last night’s Pic-O-De-Crop Finals to the Wildey Gymnasium caused by the passage of Tropical Storm Ernesto was not enough to undermine the relatively positive period.
Our conclusion is based on the upbeat news revealed so far on the different aspects of the festival.
For starters, there are no controversies – real, imagined or contrived – raging.
There have been no threats of boycotts, or disputes over prize money or increased appearance fees.
Just as important, there have been few reports of vulgar behaviour and violence at the various events organized by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and entrepreneurs. And most were well attended.
Though we have no statistics on arrivals, people have been flying into the country for the festival, especially for this weekend’s grand finale.
The success achieved to date must be attributed to the NCF’s organization of the festival to a large extent and a maturity among private entrepreneurs.
We must never take for granted the massive amount of work required to plan and execute a series of public events of the magnitude of the Pic-O-De-Crop Semis and Finals, Foreday Morning, Grand Kadooment, Soca Royale, Cohobblopot, Bridgetown Market, Kiddies Kadooment, Junior Calypso Monarch, the Folk Concert and others that take place in a hectic three-week period and, before them, the Calvacades.
This glowing report card does not necessarily mean all was 100 per cent perfect. It wasn’t. But challenges to get licences to hold fetes, problems securing locations for fetes and so on, though a worry, do not detract from the overall success.
But we are not yet home free for Crop Over 2012.
Music, drinks and, hopefully, sunshine could combine to making a pretty unruly spectacle of our public conduct, especially on Grand Kadooment Day. It is important for the preservation of law and order in our country and our reputation that we should be on our best behaviour.
We particularly exhort people not to break into the ranks of the parading bands and “rub up” on revellers. Such behaviour can only lead to confrontations and cause tempers to flare. If you didn’t sign up for a band and didn’t buy a costume, then you should stay on the sidelines.
We also urge revellers to control the level of “wukking-up” and to keep it as decent as possible. These popular gyrations are simulations of sex. Such behaviour is not an expression of our identity and should definitely not define what our largest national cultural event is about.
As a people we should strive to lift the image of this festival and stamp Barbados’ uniqueness on it, thereby differentiating it from the abundance of carnivals in the region and ensuring Crop Over’s continued attractiveness.