The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) will be back on the bus for this year’s installation of its Heritage tour, sponsored by Barbados Public Workers’ Co-operative Credit Union Limited (BPWCCUL) and Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA).
Dramatic, entertaining, informative and totally enjoyable! Just some of the adjectives used to describe “Bitter Sweet Stories of Sugar Molasses and Rum,” the 3 hour, daytime, guided BPWCCUL/BTPA Crop Over Heritage Bus Tour scheduled for Sunday, June 4, 2017.
It brings to life our stories of heritage and history surrounding the commodity that has arguably most influenced our commerce and character, in exciting theatrical presentations. Everything you have ever wanted to know about the production of sugar and its most important by-product, Rum, shared by knowledgeable guides.
This heritage excursion like no other, will take the patrons on a tour from docks to distilleries, great houses to graveyards, and factories to rum shops, revealing the facts and figures about the manufacture, trade and consumption of sugar, molasses and rum, all told in stimulating stories about exciting personalities and places at select locations on this beautiful rock.
Producer of the event, Ms. Alison Sealy-Smith continues to champion the drive for heritage tours as a viable cultural tourism product. She asserts that our culture and heritage will become increasingly important and our strongest selling point, as Barbados seeks to position itself as a leader in an increasingly competitive world tourism market. Many destinations can boast of sea, sand and sun but none of them have our unique people and stories.
Ms. Sealy-Smith added, “We focussed on these two commodities sugar and rum since they are the reason that we even exist in this space and they have both played a pivotal role in shaping the contours, commerce and character of Barbados and Bajans.”
In detailing some aspects of the tour, Ms. Sealy-Smith mentioned that in Cavan’s Lane, patrons will witness the heartbreaking spectacle of the arrival of labour from Africa. At Sunbury Plantation House they will see rum dollars at work as the dancers put on a command performance at the “Plantation Party for One.” At Four Square Rum Distillery there will be a guided tour and tastings as patrons learn the “Art of Making Rum.” In Newton they will visit the burial ground and pay tribute and homage to the spirits of our ancestors at this reverent site, as they learn the connection between this location and the Bitter Sweet Stories of Sugar, Molasses and Rum. The penultimate stop will be the Olde City Bar rum shop on the way back to the place where the labour arrived and the exports left, concluding with a tour of the museum at the Screw Dock, the only dock of its kind remaining in the world.
There will be two tours with staggered start times, one at 12:00 p.m. and the other at 2:00 p.m. Each tour of approximately 300 people will head out in a convoy of 8 buses and Sealy-Smith says that they will leave feeling more knowledgeable those facets of our history that are central to our very identity.