A safe climax

Barbados moves into the last lap of the “sweetest summer festival” with some of the biggest events on the annual national calendar set to take place.

Starting tomorrow morning there will be more than enough to please the palates of culture loving Bajans and visitors. Sunrise in the morning is sure to find hundreds of children and anxious parents preparing for Junior Kadooment at the national stadium, followed by what is expected to be a massive throng at Bushy Park on Sunday for Soca Royal — two shows, Party Monarch and Sweet Soca — wrapped up in one.

From their the national party grows into Bridgetown Market, Foreday Mornin’ Jam, Cohobblopot and then Grand Kadooment. The common theme in all of this will be massive crowds, with one in particular, Foreday Mornin’ set to exceed by far any previous event held under this banner.

Ever since Crop-Over 2012 kicked off in earnest on May 12 with the first Cavalcade at Briar Hall playing field in Christ Church, organisers of the festival have been blessed with massive spectator support, and Barbadians have demonstrated clearly that they don’t have to be violent to have a good time.

In the absence of official numbers, we would stick our neck out and suggest that so far this Crop-Over, recession notwithstanding, has been one of the biggest ever in terms if public participation. In fact, it would appear that the organisers of the private fetes have generally also done well as far as patrons were concern.

And if our observations are correct, most of these events were successfully staged without the heavy show of police presence as has been the case in some previous years. Since we have completed three months of revelry without serious incident, there is no reason why we can’t ring out the final days of Crop-Over 2012 in the same fashion.

Yes, we are not blind to the fact that some members of our population need to do more to moderate their consumption of alcoholic beverages, and that those who sell strong drinks ought to be more mindful of the dangers inherent in distributing them in glass bottles in a crowd, but still we have come this far without major incident.

But we caution all Barbadians who will be jamming on Foreday Mornin’ that its growth potential could be severely hampered if there is even a hint of violence. We believe this is so because many Barbadians are still suspicious about the safety of playing mas under the cover of darkness in such a confined space with so many thousands of revellers. In a sense the sustainability of Foreday Mornin’ and its growth will be tested on August 4.

We expect, as has been the case in past years that the police and Defence Force will ensure that they have a presence that is strong enough to match the potential threat, but we would all do our country proud if security personnel never have to leave their formation to deal with lawlessness.

Just in case we forgot, there was a time when the Pic-O-De-Crop suffered from reduced crowd participation because Barbadians wanted to distance themselves from the uncouth behaviour that was associated with entering the national stadium.

There is much to enjoy between tomorrow and August 6, and we have a golden opportunity to show the world the extent of our maturity. Have a great Crop-Over climax all!

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