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Speightstown Alive – The Carolinas Link

From left Alison Sealy-Smith Special Projects Coordinator with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) makes a point to Selma Green, Coordinator for We Gatherin’ 2020; The Hon. Colin Jordan, Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations and M.P. for St. Peter; Jacqui Gill, Chair of the St. Peter Parish Organising Committee (POC); and Patrick Gill, a member of the St. Peter POC.

A full day of activities to mark 350th Anniversary
of the connection to Carolinas and to celebrate the parish of St. Peter

On Saturday February 15, 2020 for the whole day Speightstown will be a hive of activity in every quarter with the event “Speightstown Alive – The Carolinas Link.”

The Speightstown Alive event is part of the We Gatherin’ calendar and will involve multiple locations in Speightstown.  Alison Sealy-Smith, Special Projects Coordinator with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is producing the event along with the We Gatherin’ Secretariat and the St. Peter Parish Organising Committee.   Sealy-Smith said the event’s multiple sites will allow something for everyone.  Speaking at a press conference for the event Sealy-Smith said, “Saturday is already busy in Speightstown and we are going to turn it up.”

Speaking at the launch, the Honourable Colin Jordan, Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations and Member of Parliament for St. Peter, lauded the focus on Heritage, which is the parish’s theme for We Gatherin 2020.  “St. Peter is the centre of Heritage in Barbados.  It was our first commercial location – the location of our most important port and the centre for trade of sugar between here and the United Kingdom.  It is the location of one of the earliest planned slave uprisings, where Cuffie was crowned king of Barbados, so we have much to focus on and celebrate regarding the heritage of St. Peter and Barbados.”

Barbadians are invited to take in the Queen Street Market which will span the entire strip from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. There will be strolling entertainment throughout the day. From 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. the Esplanade will also be home to the Barbados Food and Rum Pop Up featuring the National Cooking Competition.  From 4:00 p.m. on the Mahaica playing field there will be a float parade to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the colonisation of the Carolinas. This will start with a theatrical presentation in front of a Colleton House facade and will travel through Queen Street behind a mobile ‘masquerade’ of 50 dancers and actors. The event will close with a Soca Jazz Concert featuring Black Pawn, Adonijah, Donella, Jamal Slocombe and Stiffy. There will also be performances by Roger Gittens and the BCC Jazz Ensemble, Black Banana featuring Romaro Greaves, Carole George, Tamara Marshall, James De Lovell and Friends along with the Haynesville Drummers and the John Roett All Star Party Band featuring Betty Payne and Alix Cage.

The Activities
Queen Street Market
The Speightstown Alive Market will span the entire strip, including Orange St., Queen St, and Church Street from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. There will be strolling entertainment throughout the day including the Rose Hill Tuk band out of St. Peter. Along with the usual vendors, you’ll also get a chance to interact with some hucksters straight out of the history books and get up close and personal with a Fancy Basket Seller, Mauby Woman and Nutseller.

Bajan Food Village
The Esplanade will be home to food vendors offering mouth watering Bajan eats including that most traditional of Saturday staples – pudding and souse.  And, as we are in the heart of a fishing community, you can expect seafood in abundance served in a deliciously diverse variety of ways.  From 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Esplanade will also be home to the Barbados Food and Rum Pop Up featuring the National Cooking Competition where Barbadians from all walks of life will be vying to make their pork or fish dish the best in the land!

Bountiful Brunch & Heritage Lunch
We will be working with restaurants in the area (Orange Street Grocer; The Camelot; Island Plates; Hugo’s Barbados; Fisherman’s Pub; The Lobster Pot) to produce the Moveable Heritage Feast which will start with a bountiful brunch between 10:00 a.m. and noon and a special heritage lunch from noon to 4:00 p.m.

Boat Rides
Imagine a whole new way to get to town! Leave your car at home, forget the bus. Instead, you can board The MC Inspire in Bridgetown down by the Esplanade across from the Old Immigration Department and enjoy a beautiful one hour boat ride to Speightstown with DJ music and a full bar and all for a return ticket of only $20.00! The vessel will dock at the gorgeous Port St. Charles with a shuttle to take you right into Speightstown. The boat departs Bridgetown at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. with return trips at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. 

Art Exhibition
The Roots and Branches art exhibition will take place in a space donated by Republic Bank and in the Caribbean Gallery of Art

 En Plein Air Painting Workshops
This will align with the existing Roots & Branches Exhibition and this En Plein Air Painting session will be aimed at families where parents are encouraged to paint with their children. These outdoor painting workshops will be led by acclaimed Barbadian professionals and there will be a morning session from 9:00 a.m. to noon and another from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Childrens’ Zone
The St. Peter Parish Church is one of the oldest on the island and it is only fitting that this be space for our children to not only enjoy the usual jumping tents but also to enjoy some ol’ time story-telling, learn all about kite making and take part in a traditional game of warri. This space will be active between 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Chapel Street Stage
At 11am see the exciting documentary film “Beyond Barbados” chronicling the historic ties between Barbados, particularly Speightstown, and the colonisation of the Carolinas. From 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., the talents of our youth will on be display on the Second Stage near Chapel Chapel by the Arlington Museum. From the extraordinary vocal arrangements of Marlon Legall and the Coleridge and Parry School Choir to the hard-hitting spoken word stylings of Akeem Chandler-Prescod, performances by the Roland Edwards Primary School and the comic storytelling of NIFCA award winner, Tahira Gibbons, the young talent of Barbados will be shining bright as a diamond! Later in the day, thrill to more St. Peter talent as we invite you to enjoy the hilarious storytelling of Janine White and the Tuk mastery of Cavil Best and Danse Afrique Nationale.

Carolinas Float Parade and Heritage Walk
This unique and innovative parade/heritage walk starts at 4:00 p.m. on the Speightstown Playing Field with a theatrical presentation in front of a Colleton House facade and travels through Church Street behind a mobile ‘masquerade’ of dancers and actors depicting the Three Brothers ship which was built in Barbados to carry planters, enslaved and indentured to colonise the Carolinas. Join us as we celebrate the 350th anniversary of the landing in Charleston by this group of daring adventurers. Watch dramatic re-enactments as skilled actors bring these historical figures to life. Learn about a fascinating facet of Speightstown’s rich heritage and understand the incredible impact our foreparents had on the language, architecture and lifestyle of South Carolina. The Parade/Walk ends on the Chapel Street stage by Arlington Museum where we will join our twin city of Charleston for an historic video link up.

Soca Jazz Concert 
At 6:00p.m., as the sun goes down, the lights will come up on the Soca Jazz Concert in the Gazebo as we swing into high gear with a one of a kind musical celebration. We will be jazzing things up with Roger Gittens and the BCC Jazz Ensemble, Black Banana featuring Romaro Greaves, Carole George and Tamara Marshall followed by James De Lovell and Friends along with the Haynesville Drummers in a fantastic percussive tribute to El Verno del Congo and then the show heats up even more with the John Roett All Star Party Band featuring Betty Payne and Alix Cage as we revisit those sweet and funky jazz beats of the 1970’s that are sure to make you get up and groove. And then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better we will bring it all home with some of the best musicians in St. Peter backing Black Pawn, Adonijah, Donella, Jamal Slocombe and the St. Peter homeboy, the one and only Stiffy!  DJ Peter Coppin will also be on hand to make sure this will be a concert to remember!

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