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Promoter hosting ‘cultural fiesta’ for Independence celebrations

Promoter hosting ‘cultural fiesta’ for Independence celebrations

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St Vincent and the Grenadines’ 37th Independence Day celebrations should be more than just “a three-hour ceremony and bike races,” says veteran promoter Costie Augustus “Dragon” Ralph.

“Independence gone to maybe three hours celebration and it finish,” he stated.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT last week, Ralph, who is a part of the SVG Big Nine Promoting and Multicasting Agency,{{more}} expressed the view that the October 27 celebration is being treated marginally.

The 66-year-old Belair resident said that independence should be similar to the Labour Day celebrations held in Brooklyn, New York on the first Monday in September each year.

“I’m not looking for Independence where they have car race and bike race, it should be the most impacted heritage celebrated month,” he said.

Ralph further stated that he is disappointed in the way Independence has been treated over the years and a package should be introduced.

And so, the Belair man is hosting what he describes as a ‘cultural fiesta’ this year.

This ‘fiesta’ will include a costume pageant; a weekly karaoke competition; “The Bequia Country Relatives Live in Concert”; and an indigenous cultural package.

Ralph said the pageant would be held on October 30, at a venue that would be later disclosed and identified seven outstanding businesses that would participate.

These businesses are expected to have sample products or services and adhere to conceptualized specifications for designs and building of their costumes.

For example, the SVG Teachers’ Cooperative Credit Union, under the sampled product ‘Housing Loan Service,’ would put together their costume with the concept of a roof of a house entitled “Shelter your life.”

The karaoke competition, which began last Saturday, would be held every Saturday this month and would climax at the SOV Nightclub at Villa on October 28.

This competition would consist of seven categories, including Gospel, Blues, Country and Western, Hip Hop, Soul/Sentimental, Calypso, Ragga Soca, Social Commentary and Reggae.

Ralph also told SEARCHLIGHT that he intends to utilize the four medical universities here, which comprise six nations and are rich in heritage.

“Especially Nigeria…,” he added.

“Put that with our local Kalinago, Garifuna and the Grenadines and you mix that up with some proper dance… drumming, you could have an excellent package cook up.”

Ralph said that next Independence, he is looking to include independence, heritage and tourism packages that would have greater impact than the June-July Carnival festivities.

Ralph, who has been a promoter of stage events for 42 years, said that he started the first rural pageant in 1981. Since then, his agency has trained the 1993 Miss Caribana and the 1998 Miss SVG Idinger Miller and the first runner-up for the Miss Carival Pageant that year.

“Next year come I want to see… an Independence cooperation where you have all the stakeholders… get all the people on board so that you have a cooperation, a new entity catering to the international airport.”

“In the long run everybody is going to benefit,” he added.(AS)

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