May 23, 2014
Dissatisfaction with arrangements for rural carnival

It is not intentional that there are no Layou representatives sitting on the Central Leeward Carnival Committee for 2014.{{more}}

This was made clear by president of the committee Dayle Edwards, during an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday.

Last year, a number of rural carnivals were merged by the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC). As part of this restructuring, the Layou and Barrouallie carnivals were merged into the Central Leeward carnival, and representatives from each town or village were expected to sit on the organizing committees so that there would be a fair balance and distribution of events.

Joanna Christopher, who served on the Central Leeward Carnival Committee last year, told SEARCHLIGHT that persons have expressed to her their dissatisfaction with events taking place this year. Christopher pointed out that most of the events are taking place in Barrouallie, a situation many residents of Layou are displeased about.

Saying that about four persons from Layou served on the merged committee last year, Christopher indicated that no one was representing the Leeward town this year, because they were not informed about what was going on.

“It’s unfair and they will brag about it. They would tell you that they taking everything to Barrouallie,” the Layou resident said.

Christopher, who was instrumental in producing the 2013 Miss Central Leeward pageant, the first of its kind, stated that she was not upset because “it take a little bit of strain off of me this year; but I’m upset for my people.”

When SEARCHLIGHT contacted the president of the planning committee, Dayle Edwards, he stressed that it was not intentional that there were no representatives from Layou sitting on the committee.

In fact, Edwards revealed that attempts were made to find persons to sit on the committee for 2014.

“There were people on the committee last year, but for some reason, they were not on the committee this year,” he said. “We went over there looking for candidates, so I don’t know what happened.”

The president, who stated that Carnival celebrations began approximately two weeks ago, further stated that there were activities scheduled to take place in Layou.

Edwards noted that one of the events was not successful because of a clash with a larger event in town; however, the street jump up is expected to take place this Saturday in Layou.

Rural carnival co-ordinator, Esworth “Ezzie” Roberts told SEARCHLIGHT that he sees no reason why a merger between Layou and Barrouallie cannot work, particularly because other areas, which were further away from each other were doing just fine, following last year’s merger.

“If persons were really interested in Carnival, this merger took place last year. I think that we should have had persons coming forward from Layou saying ‘look, we are volunteering to serve to make sure this committee runs right,’” he said.

“The guys from Barrouallie, they called meetings. They said they invited persons from Layou to three meetings; nobody came. I actually went Barrouallie to get an update with the guys to see what’s happening. This is what was reported to me.”

Roberts explained that the intention of the merger is to alternate events, so that each area will have the opportunity to host events.

“Last year, the plan was to do activities in Layou and Barrouallie, which they did.

“The plan again this year was to do the same thing. They actually had events scheduled. The queen show will be at the hard court in Barrouallie; last year they had it in Layou. Last year, they had queen show in Layou, J’Ouvert in Layou. This year they plan to have queen show in Barrouallie, J’Ouvert in Barrouallie. Next year, they come back to Layou, they do the queen show. That’s the intention. Based on my schedule here… the street jump up is scheduled for this Saturday, in Layou,” the coordinator said.

In addition, Roberts commended the Central Leeward Committee for doing a good job this year and expressed hope that persons will be able to work with one another in the future.(BK)