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STREET BEAT: Festival bringing cultures together


CARLOS ATWELL

STREET BEAT: Festival bringing cultures together

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THE HOLETOWN FESTIVAL brings people – locals and tourists – from all over the island to get a taste of what the town has to offer.

It is a melting pot of history and culture, fun and games and pride and industry. Street Beat took a trip to Holetown to speak to the men and women working there to get their thoughts on the festival.

Shelley-Ann Quintyne of Ganzee The Island Shop said the Holetown Festival highlighted the town and allowed tourists to see the history of the area as well as get a taste of true Barbadian food. However, she said even more could be done.

“There should be more events with people having dances or even a steel pan band playing during the week that would bring people here,” she said. “Most of the events today [Wednesday] happening at night but some people come here to work from far away and will not be here at night when the events start. All now I just waiting until Friday when people will really come but it should be a case when people are coming all during the festival.”

Quintyne said it would be a good idea for the organisers to meet with the people who work in Holetown every day and include them on the planning process. However, she admitted that most of the workers were not the actual owners of the businesses and she was unsure whether a meeting had been held with the owners.

Veronica Stuart said the festival was a good thing which brought tourists from the east and South coasts who would not usually frequent Holetown. She said business at Arabella Boutique was good but she also wished more could to be done during off-peak periods.

“There used to be an after-party and I wish that could come back or if that crowd too rowdy, then let Q In The Community become a part of the festival as that is a different type of crowd,” she said.

Taxi operators in the area had little positive. They said the festival was more a humbug to them than anything else.

“There is too much traffic on the roads and the police chasing we all about, even though we are supposed to be here. Very often when we come, we can’t find a parking spot despite this area being for taxis – in fact, sometimes we can’t even get in our own hut. The festival don’t be good for taxi men at all,” said Derek G. Greenidge.

Alvin Archer said the festival was a tourist thing and made little difference to them as people did not use taxis to get around during the event while Ryan Marshall said more innovation was needed.

“It want more things to make it come alive more. We want more innovative things to catch the people; they could open a karaoke bar or something. We need more nightlife, something to bring people for the whole week, not just a few events,” he said.

One woman, who requested anonymity, said she had a major problem with a Chikungunya awareness banner set up across the road. She said it was not good for tourism as people from all over was taking pictures of it and sending it all over the web. Besides that, she said “everything bless” and she thanked God for the increased business which came with the festival.

Couple Rosetta and Henry Ward were spotted walking among the few stalls which had already set up. They said they had attended Holetown Festival three years ago and they loved it and was sure it would be great again. The only peeve was that they thought more would have been going on.

“We have a friend who has a stall but when we came to see them we heard most of the stalls are not setting up yet, so the only thing to do is go back home and come back another day,” said Rosetta.

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