KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Vincy Mas moves into high gear this weekend amidst a warning by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves that Carnival does not mean an end of productive activity.
Most Vincentians will get two days off from work on Monday and Tuesday in observance of the nation’s premier cultural festival, also a major revenue generator.
The days-off translate into a four-day weekend for many workers but Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, said on Monday that while he was pleased with the progress of the festival, private and public sector workers must continue to produce.
“I am pleased to see that the Carnival is coming well and everybody is reporting good news to me on it — … whether on the security front or the question of the standards and the like,” said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security.
“But let us not feel that between now and Carnival [it] is only Carnival. We got to work. We have a lot of work to do, people got to turn up to work, you know,” he said.
Gonsalves said some people tend to drink large volumes of alcohol and not report for work during Carnival.
“Journalists have to turn up to work, people who sweeping the streets have to turn up to work, people at Vinlec, at [Central] Water [and Sewerage Authority], people in the stores, people who growing bananas, who on the yam piece, planting pigeon peas or digging yam bank. We got to work,” Gonsalves said.
He said that while next Monday and Tuesday are holidays and there are major shows this weekend, citizens still have to work and work hard.
Breadwinners, her further said, have to meet their obligations to their households.
“Food gotta go on the table. Children have to be taken care of. So we mustn’t treat Carnival as though it is the exclusion of everything else. We have to have life going forward in a disciplined manner. I just want to make that plea in a very practical sense, Gonsalves said.
Gonsalves was among Caribbean Community leaders who ended three-days of a “productive” summit in St. Lucia on Friday night agreeing on a new foreign policy direction that would allow the 15-member trading bloc to establish deeper relations with countries other than its traditional allies in Europe and North America, the Caribbean Media Corporation reported.
Vincy Mas 2012 climaxes with the Soca Monarch monarch competition on Saturday, Demarche Gras on Sunday, a street party on Monday and Mardi Gras.
Roxanne Nicholas, the St. Lucian delegate emerged Miss Carival Friday night.