Speightstown Alive organizer bowled over by event response
From all reports, the “coming out event” for the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) was a resounding success. Chief executive officer of the new Government entity BTPA and organizer of the event Speightstown Alive, Kerry Hall, said she was very pleased with the outcome of the event.
“Speightstown is alive tonight,” Hall remarked on Sunday. “We have achieved our goal. I’m very proud of my team. We are on to something here.”
The BTPA boss said the response to Speightstown event had been phenomenal and “beyond my wildest dreams”.
Explained Hall: “The way it was conceptualized, it was first going to be just a Bajan expo event, which is a much smaller community event. We decided it was going to be in Speightstown. We said if it was going to be in Speightstown, and it’s such a phenomenal historical place, it’s going to be our coming out party.
“It was BTPA putting on its first mega event. We had to make it really big. It was like a Bajan expo on steroids. It was a community event and we decided to come really big. We decided to create a venue where there was something for everyone.”
The event featured a family fun day. Locals and tourists alike took in the road tennis and the tuk bands with the Mother Sallys, while others showed particular interest in the produce and local craft on display. Then there was the night concert to which thousands turned out.
The concert featured some of the hottest acts from Crop Over 2015, including Red Plastic Bag, Biggie Irie, Kirk Brown, Classic, Lil Rick, Hypasounds and Peter Ram.
The crowd thoroughly enjoyed the mini-concert, happy to see the artistes, if only just one last time at the end of the Crop Over season.
Hall summed of the entire event in one phrase: “It worked!”
Added the CEO: “We had something for everyone. We wanted Barbados to take a second look at Speightstown. Our intention was to bring Speightstown alive . . . . It was a bit of a risk, but we decided to just go for it.
“We invited our visitors. We couldn’t leave them out. We want to create events that our tourists would be looking for.
“The vendors apparently made some good money.”
Hall said the BTPA was looking to make the event a yearly one.
“My mind is blown by the response . . . . I hope the stakeholders in Speightstown take notice and grab hold of the opportunity. The possibilities are endless. I hope Barbadians don’t forget Speightstown. We will be replicating this model across Barbados,” she added. (DB)