By: St. Clair ‘Sazam’ Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)-The 43rd annual Nevis Summer Festival known as Culturama promises to be bigger and better than before. Those were the words of Antonio ‘Abonaty’ Liburd, the Chairman of Culturama 43.
According to Chairman Liburd, the launch of Culturama 43 is set for Friday, June 16, 2017 at the waterfront in Charlestown. He pointed out that all the contestants for the various pageants will be revealed on that day. Liburd indicated, that there will be an island wide motorcade to showcase the participants on Saturday, June 17, 2017, and on Sunday, June 18, 2017 the participants in Culturama 43 will attend a church service. He noted that during that same week the Culturama committee is seeking to have the contracts signed between the contestants and the Culturama Committee.
Chairman Liburd noted that the official opening of Culturama will be on Thursday, July 27, 2017. However, he indicated that prior to the opening; on Friday, July 14, 2017 they will have the re-opening of the new look Culturama Village. Liburd stated that the Cultural Village is presently being refurbished and a number of persons are looking forward to see what it will look like when it is completed. He pointed out that it is a four part project and currently ongoing is the re- construction of the stage which is the main performance area. He noted that, that particular project is being done by Elmos Grant of Grant’s Construction.
Liburd noted that there is the replacement of booths to be replaced by some containerized food booths. That section is being headed by Landlord’s Construction. Liburd said the Committee will be placing ten containers of which they will customize into food booths. The Chairman pointed out that the Committee has also accommodated Samuel Richards who have operated what is known as the ‘Bull Pen’ for the past twenty-one years. He stated that they have provided Richards with a concrete structure because they are aware that the ‘Bull Pen’ is one of the main attractions for the Cultural Village and they wanted to maintain that attraction.
Additionally, Liburd stated that they are also constructing a new gate entrance to have the free flow of persons who are entering the venue. He said that what has been discovered in the past was that patrons coming into the Cultural Village came in single files and they found that the single file arrangement was not working. Liburd further stated that they will have four entrance gates and one exit gate. He said that the Committee is duplicating what is at the Cultural Complex by using the exact entry and exit plan. He pointed out that Roy Liburd of Liburd’s Construction is spearheading that part of the construction.
The Chairman also spoke about the issue of security. Liburd pointed out, that there will be a command post for the police. He said that this post will be situated directly on top of the bar that will be occupied by Samuel Richards, thus giving the police a full oversight of what is happening at the Cultural Village. He noted that they thought that this was necessary in light of the current crime situation here on Nevis.
Liburd also gave an insight about the fourth phase of the project. He indicated that this phase is the construction of a new bathroom facility that will consist of four cubicles. Two male units that will have one toilet and one male urinal and two female units that will consist of two toilets. He said there will be the face basins on the outside of the cubicles, which will be inside of the bathroom so no one will need to exit the bathroom to use them. He indicated that they envisioned that a lot of persons would want to visit the Cultural Village because of the refurbishment.
The Chairman said they are also implementing a raised platform on top of two of the containers. He said they will be used for preferred seating for persons who would want to pay an extra twenty dollars to get into that section. Liburd said it will not be a VIP section as is traditionally known because this year they are moving slightly away from the VIP concept. He noted that they will have a private bar for the preferred seating section.
Liburd stated that they have a long list of persons who applied for booths. However, he pointed out that persons who would have operated booths at the venue in the past will be given first preference. The Chairman said that those persons will be offered booths spaces and if they prefer not to operate this year, they will pass it on to other interested persons. Liburd made it abundantly clear that the persons who operated in the past must have done so on an annual basis. He said if any one skipped two and three years, the same consideration won’t be given to them like those persons who operated consistently.
He also talked about the completion of the project. He indicated that on Sunday, May 21, 2017 there was a site visit with himself, Minister Brantley and all of the contractors involved. Liburd noted that the contractors gave them a commitment that by the end of June they will be out of the venue.
He said that they are anticipating that the first week in July all of the work would have been completed and all of the cleanup operations done. He said that the booths operators will come in during the second week of July and stock their booths. He noted after the booths are stocked, they will have the inspection on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Liburd indicated that after the inspection, operations at the Village will began on Friday, July 14, 2017.
In conclusion, Liburd indicated that for the opening of the Cultural Village, there will be an official opening ceremony of some sort. He said that they are yet to decide on a date as to when it will transpire.