“This year is going to be a good year: I could feel it,” Marvin Blyden said of the coming August Emancipation Festival during a Tuesday press conference.

Then Mr. Blyden, the chairman of the Virgin Islands Festivals and Fairs Committee, announced the winners of the Festival theme and slogan contest: Linette Rabsatt, for the theme “Looking back at 175 years of being fully free: Our culture, our heritage and Virgin Islands history;” and Yvonne Mactavious, for the slogan, “2013 Festival Virgin Islands style: Celebrate freedom with territorial pride.”

The annual competitions are designed to “involve the entire community in this aspect of Festival,” Culture Director Luce Hodge-Smith said.

The VIFFC is working hard on plans for the event, Mr. Blyden added.

“This year we want to work as closely as we could with the press,” he said. “You don’t always have to report the negative part of what you see. Even though we want you all to report the true facts of what you see, we still want you all to work with us and make us look the way we want to look for Festival.”

Organisers will also be making plans early for next year’s event, which will mark the 60th anniversary of the annual celebration, according to Mr. Blyden.

See the May 2, 2013 edition for full coverage.