Crop Over stakeholders have a singular focus for the final weekend of this year’s festival – ensuring patrons and resellers have a safe, seamless and entirely enjoyable experience.
To make this happens, yesterday afternoon a high-level team, led by Prime Minister Mia Mottley and including Attorney General Dale Marshall, Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith, Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force Colonel Glyne Grannum and Minister of Culture John King met to discuss and agree to various security and logistics arrangements.
Acknowledging that there were some hiccups at last weekend’s Soca Monarch competition relating to congested access to the National Botanical Gardens at Waterford and then some patrons being unsure of where to go once they had parked, the organisers have moved to avoid a recurrence.
After consultations between the National Cultural Foundation and the Transport Board, Transport Authority, public service vehicle operators, and with the input of the security forces, a park-and-ride system has been put in place.
This means persons attending Friday night’s Pic-O-De-Crop Finals will be able to park at the National Stadium, Queen’s College, the NCF carpark, Wildey Gymnasium and Weymouth “B” playing field and take a bus to the event venue.
“These parking areas will be well lit and properly secured so patrons need not worry about their safety or the security of their property,” assured Prime Minister Mottley after chairing the meeting that also included Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Jerome Walcott and Chief Executive Officer of the NCF Carol Roberts-Reifer.
“I want to thank Barbadians for conducting themselves in a manner that has allowed us all to enjoy an incident free festival so far, and we have put arrangements in place to complement that behaviour so we can make it through this long, festive weekend without blemish.”
Roberts-Reifer explained that patrons using the park-and-ride system will be charged $5 per ride, with the service starting at 6 p.m. and concluding one hour after the calypso finals finish at Kensington Oval.
She noted that given the limited parking space around the Oval, and the fact that the Foreday Morning jam immediately afterward will bring thousands of resellers into the area, it was critical that patrons make use of the park-and-ride arrangement to avoid traffic congestion and frustration.
“As the world looks on this weekend while we are at the height of revelry, I appeal to Barbadians to also display their best behaviour,” the CEO said.