A troupe performs in 2019 during the last August Emancipation Festival be- fore the Covid-19 pandemic required celebrations to be dramatically scaled back. This year, organisers are promising the return of traditional activities. (File Photo: ZARRIN TASNIM AHMED)

After two years of muted celebrations during the Covid-19 pandemic, plans are underway to hold the August Emancipation Festival from July 24 to Aug. 5 under the slogan “Celebrate Freedom for Me and You, BVI Festival 2022,” the Virgin Islands Festivals and Fairs Committee announced Tuesday.

“The VIFFC is looking forward to celebrating our emancipation, considering our present challenges,” said committee Chairman Dirk Walters. “We are overdue for celebrations after having our usual festivities interrupted by natural disasters, a pandemic, and economic constraints. This year, the committee is poised to bring you a celebration to remember.”

Mr. Walters said this year’s activities will include the “traditional festival lineup” even though the events will be scaled down to fit the budget, which he did not disclose.

Traditional festival activities will take place in Road Town, Carrot Bay and East End, with a focus on Virgin Islands heritage and culture, according to the committee. After a series of events leading up to the opening of the Road Town village, activities will include concerts, Rise and Shine Tramps, Carrot Bay cultural activities, and others, the organisers stated. This year will also see the re-introduction of the aquatic sports competitions, according to the VIFFC.

“We know the wait has been a bit longer than everyone would’ve wanted, but the committee wanted to ensure that we had all our ducks in order before coming to the public,” Mr. Walters said. “Now that we have the plans in place, we are ready to celebrate.”

The chairman added that he hopes to see high attendance in all the festival activities, and he encouraged the business community to participate through partnerships and sponsorships.

“Historically, the festival was a community event,” he said. “That included BVI businesses. We already have some community partners on board, which we will be announcing shortly. In the meantime, we are hoping to engage even more businesses so that we can further enhance the activities planned.”

To become a partner or sponsor, email info@vifestival.com.