The 42nd staging of the Holetown Festival has begun.
It got under way yesterday with an opening ceremony at the Holetown Monument in St. James, which was attended by locals and visitors to the island, as well as reigning Queen of the Festival Sheryl Knight and Festival Ambassador, Damien “Hypasounds” Etienne, along with Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Kerrie Symmonds and Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports, John King.
Addressing the ceremony, the Tourism Minister commended the Festival Committee for the longevity of the annual event. He said that his ministry wants to “elevate this Festival to the next level”. Therefore, they place themselves at the disposal of the organising committee and stand ready to work with them.
“It is time, I think, that the Festival benefits from the technical expertise of Barbados Tourism Product Authority, which is staffed by professional product people for tourism. It is time, I believe, that the Festival also benefits as best we can in difficult financial circumstances from some of the financial assistance of the state, so that we lift it to the next level. You have been tested and tried and placed in the balances and you have not been found wanting. Forty years is a long time and you cannot be allowed to fail.”
Symmonds also told the gathering that the Tourism Ministry “is placing at the forefront of its activities a freshness and a rejuvenation of the Holetown visitor experience”. He stated that work in this regard will be led by Dr. Kerry Hall.