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Mindoo Phillip Park Venue Critical to Carnival Development

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Wednesday, February 06, 2002 - Five months ahead of the hosting of St. Lucia’s Carnival celebrations in July, the Carnival Committee under the auspices of the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) continues to meet to fine tune key aspects of Mas 2002. Newly appointed Chairman of the Carnival Committee Teddy Francis says efforts have begun at ensuring that the overall product is enriched, characterized by greater respect from sponsors, the public and persons actively involved.

Central to that new approach Mr. Francis notes will be the acquiring of the Mindoo Phillip Park to serve as “Carnival City”. Previously, the Marchand Grounds was used.

“We figure that it (the Mindoo Phillip Park) would be a first and major step in improving the carnival product. Given the aspect of security, the staggering of the admission prices based on the availability of the Pavilion and other stands, the VIP area, change rooms for artistes, the secured parking facility at the Marchand Grounds, all lend themselves to increasing the scope of the carnival product. We think that these things contribute in a big way to improving carnival,” said Francis.

With major sporting facilities being built in both the north and south of the island, the two-time Carnival Chairman says arguments against the idea, in favour of sports development have become a non-issue.

Other ideas the committee intends to focus on for Mas 2002 include a reintroduction of pomp and ceremony to the opening and launch of carnival, the re-energizing of junior carnival, a re-examination of the prize money and the return of pageantry to the carnival queen show.

According to Francis the new committee is not satisfied with activities like the Boulevard Jam and the Street Party as organised last year.

“We figure that any activity to which the committee affixes its stamp of approval, there needs to be the basic elements of costumes, calypso and steel band. No hi-fi type ‘Block-O’ will be endorsed by the committee.”

Francis says this year’s event will be marked by greater participation, artistry and culture.


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