Vincentians committed to continuance of Nine Mornings Festival – Chairperson
A section of the large crowd at Heritage Square on Sunday morning December 24, 2023 (Inset) Orande Bomani Charles, Chairperson of the National Nine Mornings Festival Management Committee
December 29, 2023
Vincentians committed to continuance of Nine Mornings Festival – Chairperson

The large turnout by Vincentians on the last morning of the National Nine Mornings Festival is a testament and a commitment to the festival’s continuance.

“They are making an effort of their own volition to come from far and near. Some persons are walking, some persons are hiring taxis, some persons are riding bicycles, because the people are appreciating the effort and they’re making themselves present in the audience,” said Orande Bomani Charles, Chairperson of the National Nine Mornings Festival Management Committee.

Charles referenced improved crowd participation and availability of prizes, in which everybody who went on stage got something.

“We wanted to ensure that persons are part of the festival and therefore in our negotiations with sponsors, we highlighted that the festival thrives on audience participation and if there are rewards for the audience, attractive rewards, then their participation will grow and it will, redound to the benefit of the sponsors in terms of their presence and branding and sponsorship.

“We appreciate them very much this year and hopefully next year they continue and improve in their presence in terms of supporting items for audience participation,” Charles said.

The Chairperson said the present venue at Heritage Square in Kingstown is rapidly outgrowing its capacity to accommodate the growing numbers, a fact the Committee will have to consider, but there are other issues which must be factored into the equation.

“Well, it’s something to consider but … Heritage Square is attractive. It’s right next to a river. It’s sort of central. Persons coming from the Windward side can access it easily. It’s an easy walk for persons from the outskirts of the city, and it does provide a certain ambience that we can work with.”

For this year’s festival, murals were painted and placed along the Cooperative Bank side of Heritage Square to improve the outlook of the venue.

He was pleased with the general participation of the public, pointing out that “except for the first three mornings which were affected by inclement weather, I think this year, the audience for all mornings has been great, and, you know, we, we can’t help but be happy.”

Meanwhile Rondy ‘Luta’ McIntosh, St Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to the United States said his experience at Nine Mornings on December 24 was “wonderful”.

“Nine Mornings is rich in heritage and culture. It’s something that we must protect because when you look at the locals coming out, waking up off their beds to come out here.”

He said his office in New York has been marketing both the Nine Mornings and Carnival festivals.

McIntosh added that he is working with various persons in the Diaspora to get the persons who sing the various songs at Christmas time “to come home and partake in Nine Mornings. So the diaspora is going to be involved in a big way and the consulate will continue to support.”