The state-owned Carnival Development Corporation (CDC), the organisers of Vincymas, says it, too, is seeking clarity on the ban on fetes on hard courts, which Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves announced on April 12.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of questions on the rurals (rural carnivals). And so, I’m going to pre-empt some of that discussion by saying we heard and, as it’s popular to say, we feel the pain of the promoters and the rural carnivals where the limitation on venues has come,” Ricardo Adams, chair of the CDC told a press conference in Kingstown on Monday.
“We are in the process of getting some clarity in terms of what specifically are and are not allowed at what particular venues.”
Adams said that many rural carnivals include a beauty pageant and it “may be fairly straightforward” that a beauty pageant is not a fete.
“Where we can have some challenges is the determination of if there’s a calypso show, what is that considered to be? So, we are seeking some clarity on that,” he said.
Speaking at the same press conference, Dillon Morris, the CDC’s coordinator of rural carnival, announced that most committed have set the dates for their rural events.
Meanwhile, Adams said a number of private promoters are already making adjustments as regards the venue for their events, in light of the ban on fetes on state-owned hard courts.
“There was a fairly big level of excitement when it was announced that the Arnos Vale playing field would not be available. In fact, the CDC was accused of trying to sabotage particular people by not making the playing field available. It hurts my heart but I have to say if we want to use the Arnos Vale Playing Field, we have to write for permission to use it.”
Adams said the CDC has no control over the Arnos Vale Playing Field.
“So let me disavow everybody of the notion that the CDC took away the Arnos Vale Playing Field from anybody. We don’t have control over the Arnos Vale Playing Field.”
He said the state-owned National Lotteries Authority, which is in charge of the Victoria Park, “graciously gives us the access to the Victoria Park during carnival but that is the only space over which we have a level of control during carnival.
“So, I just wanted to get that out there. But I’ve seen a number of promoters who were also affected by the unavailability of the Arnos Vale Playing Field, I’ve seen them making alternative adjustments. So, I’ve seen events advertised to take place in other spaces, events that would have ordinarily taken place in the Arnos Vale area.”
In announcing the ban on the use of hard court for fetes, Gonsalves said: “I just want to tell them and everybody else that there will be no fete in any school, no fete on any hard court … They mash up these things. I am just making it up very plain. These things can take place in open air, you can put tents, you can put all kinds of various things,” he said.
Meanwhile, on April 14, Opposition Leader Godwin Friday condemned the ban, saying, “… that is absolutely contrary to the expectation of what people have and the way in which these facilities have been used to promote community activities, for having all kinds of functions all over the country”.