Sunday, April 14, 2024

No shutdown for City Fest


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OVER 20 000 PEOPLE are being anticipated at the 12-hour Crop Over City Fest, which has replaced the Opening Gala that was usually held at Queen’s Park.
Discussing the proposed plans for the June 28 event with some Bridgetown business owners, senior business development officer at the National Cultural Foundation, Alison Sealy-Smith, said the aim was to transform The City into hives of zonal activity.
She added that it would take the form of a large urban street fair, featuring two parades, a motorcade, concerts and cultural showcases as well as street-wide arts and craft exhibitions.
There will also be a children’s zone set up in the Parliament Yard, while Heroes’ Square will be the main show area.
No vehicular traffic will be allowed on Broad Street and other main traffic arteries for some time before and after the event. A park and ride will facilitate entry into The City.
“. . . We are trying to create a pedestrian mall, which means that some pedestrian streets will be closed as well. We want to bring about 20 000 people to Bridgetown during the course of the day [while] . . . promoting commercial activities,” Sealy Smith said at the town hall meeting on City Fest at the Spirit Bond Mall on Tuesday evening.
Sponsorship representative for the NCF, Margaret Allman-Goddard, told business owners and operators gathered that they could take advantage of the event by offering sales and discounts that day and extend opening hours.
She noted that she was aware the last time Bridgetown was closed off for activities, people opted out of coming to The City. However, this was not the aim of City Fest.
“. . . People got scared and did not come into town and caused a downturn for business. We don’t want that to happen,” she said.
Additionally, Allman-Goddard encouraged them to decorate their stores to add to the festive environment they hoped to create and engage in corporate buy-in to the event.
“The NCF has put in a certain amount of dollars, but we would also like some buy-in too with sponsored areas to make it bigger and better . . . .” (LW)


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