Even before members of the Petite Martinique Whitsuntide Committee sit down for a postmortem on the just concluded festival, they have already identified the need for a better coexistence between the regatta boat racing and the recently incorporated J’ouvert, which has really taken off with a great appeal to locals and foreigners.
President of the committee, Terrance Logan says that while everyone had a great time, as a committee they need to find a way to ensure that there is a high level of boat racing interest on the Monday of the festival. He says they have discovered that the J’ouvert seems to suck the oxygen out of the boat racing. Underscoring the aquatic events as the nucleus of the festival, Logan says that following the J’ouvert on Monday morning, most people seemed tired, which resulted in them showing up late to the beach on Monday evening.
“Most people seem only interested in the J’ouvert and not the Saturday and Sunday boat racing and this is not the essence of the festival”, says Logan.
He says that they had also suffered from a reduction in the number of boats, which were expected due to mixed communication between the boatmen of Sauteurs and the captain of the boat, which was scheduled to take them to the island.
The president points out that he was highly impressed with the number of Petite Martiniquans who returned from North America and Europe for the festival. This he says shows that the event is growing. The nighttime Soca and Colors shows he says were well supported and lived up to expectations.
However, the president says that while they consider the event a success from the number of people that attend, he is unsure if it was also the case financially.
“But it was the biggest ever in the history of the festival although we know we have to return to the drawing board.
“We went bigger and that demanded more from the committee and its resources”, says the president.
He is also grateful to all the sponsors and those who helped tailor the festival in 2017.
One of the highlights of the festival was Monday’s arrival of the MV Lovely one from mainland Grenada, which carried members of The Real Jab Jab led by Stephen “Slum” Jacob.
The curtains came down on the festival with a prize giving ceremony where Senator Norland Cox, President of the Festivals Board, Kindra Mathurine Stewart and Devon King, handed out trophies and monetary rewards.