In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the 51st Virgin Gorda Easter Festival will be dramatically scaled down from previous years’ celebrations, Education and Culture Minister Myron Walwyn announced Monday.
The activities also will take a different format than usual, recalling the origins of the annual event.
“The decision to scale down the festivities came just over a week and a half ago after consulting with a cross-section of the Virgin Gorda community, including pastors and persons that have been involved in the festivities in past years,” Mr. Walwyn said in a press release. “The decision and plans for this year’s event strike a balance between the differing views about the festivities at this time.”
The event, which is planned and executed by the Virgin Islands Festivals and Fairs Committee through its VG Sub-Committee, will feature a Gospel Fest on March 30, a food fair on March 31, and a beach picnic on April 2, as was done in the early years of the festival, according to Mr. Walwyn.
The festival village — which usually hosts three nights of musical performances — will not be included this year. The minister did not mention the parade that is typically held the day after Easter.
“As we continue our recovery efforts in the territory, it is important for us to remember the vital role that the acknowledgment and continuation of cultural events play in contributing to the overall recovery process,” Mr. Walwyn said. “The Easter Festival is a staple in the Virgin Gorda community and I fully understand and appreciate the concerns raised by persons, particularly those who would have received damage to their homes and those who would have lost jobs in the hospitality industry. However, I think it is important that we strike a balance to ensure that the culture of the Virgin Islands is preserved despite our circumstances.”
Mr. Walwyn is encouraging the business community to host various activities to complement the celebrations.
Anyone interested in assisting is asked to contact Anne Lennard in the Department of Culture at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Every time they look at the painting,” she said, “they’ll be able to say, ‘Yes, she was here.’”