December 2, 2005
Nine Mornings to be the ‘best ever’

“When you think about Christmas we want St.Vincent and the Grenadines to be the first country you think about.”

This sentiment was expressed by Lennox Bowman, Treasurer of the Nine Mornings Committee last Tuesday at the Ministry of Tourism Conference Room, as he spoke of the efforts that will be pumped into this year’s Nine Mornings Festival to make it the best ever.{{more}}

Some $247, 050 has been budgeted for the 2005 Nine Mornings activities, which will be held under the theme: “Celebrating a unique Vincentian tradition”. Bowman disclosed that $100,000 will go towards assisting communities and organizations, $27,550 for Prize Monies, and $25,000 towards the Lighting of National Christmas Tree. He noted that another $60,000 was budgeted for the Kingstown Activities, $17,000 for Promotion and Advertising, $8,000 for Electricity and $9,500 for other activities.

Bowman said it is the committee’s aim to decentralize Nine Mornings. He said the committee also has a role to play in educating this generation of the cultural value of Nine Mornings.

Michael Peters, Chairman of the Nine Mornings Committee, spoke of the revival of Nine Mornings in St.Vincent and the Grenadines.He recalled that the event was revived by El Groupo Amistad in 1992 but in 1999 the festival went to a new level with the National Nine Mornings Committee. The Nine Mornings Celebration is in its seventh year since its rebirth.

Peters said the success of Nine Mornings in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, which runs from December 16-24 this year, has a lot to do with the effort that has been put in by the National Nine Mornings Committee and other Committees.

“Visitors have recognised that this is one of the best times to be in St.Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Peters.

Sebastian “Bassy” Alexander, Coordinator of the Nine Mornings Committee said he is inspired when he reflects on the rebirth of Nine Mornings in 1992 when El Groupo Amistad only had a budget of $3, 000.

“Now we are looking at a budget of quarter million dollars. That could tell you the growth,” said Bassy.

Bassy lamented that Nine Mornings is a cultural festival that has not been sufficiently marketed. He challenged the youth and the business community to take advantage and change the lame market image that currently exists by opening the stores and selling their produce on the streets.

Participating sponsors in this year’s Nine Mornings are the National Lottery, Western Union, NCB, Digicel, Stores in Kingstown, Department of Tourism, Department of Culture, St.Vincent Brewery and RBTT Bank.