Late start to fireworks at East Point
Scores of people visited the East Point, St Philip lighthouse to see the fireworks display marking Barbados’ transition to a republic on Monday night.
From 11:30 p.m. there was a long line of vehicles as far as Sealy Hall in the same parish, en route to the lighthouse.
People came in groups with their family members and friends while others came with their partners and by midnight, everyone had selected a spot to get the best vantage point.
About 15 minutes later, people started to query why the fireworks had not started and some expressed dissatisfaction.
“When this thing gine start?” one man asked.
“I thought they (officials) said it would begin at midnight,” a woman said.
As the time went by, people found different ways to engage themselves. Children were spotted playing games on their devices and some adults watched the national ceremony at Independence Square and Heroes Square in Bridgetown on their cell phones.
Just before 1 a.m. police officers told the gathering to “dress back” further away from the lighthouse, but it was not before 1:30 a.m. that the fireworks lit the dark sky in an array of pretty colours and people began taking videos.
During the showcase, an ashy residue from the fireworks affected spectators, some of whom drifted further away, covered their faces with their jackets or turned their backs.
There were also large plumes of smoke and people were coughing and covering their eyes and noses, even though they were wearing masks.
A police officer explained that the crowd was not supposed to gather so close to the lighthouse and was only to go on an open field at a bar and restaurant near the entrance of the gap.
He said the crowd ventured to the end of the road, on the cliff where the lighthouse is situated.
However, there were no barriers to cordon off the road or officers stationed at the entrance to indicate the protocols when people began turning up at the location.
The officer said he and his colleagues tried to get people to clear the lighthouse area but they received push back. (SB)