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Let Mount Wynne/Peter’s Hope be our Disneyland

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Tue July 2, 2013

Editor: Don’t be confused. This is “food for thought”; hence, let’s chew upon it. Where I live at Coxheath, Edinboro, I have a panoramic view of Kingstown and its suburbs. For over forty-five years, I have had the advantage of looking in a critical way at all the shows and other activities that take place at Victoria Park, especially Carnival, with its attendant street revelry.{{more}}

For quite some time now I have come to the conclusion that Victoria Park and Kingstown in general are not the ideal places for the hosting of Carnival activities and that some other venue should be found. Mount Wynne/Peters Hope was one such venue that always came to mind. I never took the time even to ventilate my views on it, but after viewing aspects of the Uncle Skinny’s Kids Carnival on Saturday, June 22, 2013, I feel compelled to think critically of an alternative venue and thereby share my thoughts with the Vincentian public.

First of all, I congratulate Skinny Fabulous and the promoters of the show. Looking at it from my vantage position, I thought that it was a job well done. It was quite picturesque and I thought that it provided the best outing for parents and children relationship than any of the other children’s shows offered by the CDC. It impressed me so much that I thought that that type of show should be made into an all year-round permanent fixture. It needs a home. Mount Wynne/ Peter’s Hope is my preferred home.

Why move Carnival to Mount Wynne/Peter’s Hope?

A. Advantages to the development of Carnival:

The disadvantages are far greater by hosting Carnival at Victoria Park than at Mount Wynne/Peters Hope. The following will bear testimony:

1. Carnival is a very noisy activity and the level of noise emanating from Victoria Park and on the streets of Kingstown on a daily basis is unbearable:

(i) For the patients and Health workers at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital

(ii) For the residents of Kingstown and its suburbs.

(iii) For the business sector in Kingstown.

 

 

2. The traffic congestion in Kingstown, even outside the two days of revelry, is a matter of serious concern for the traffic police, motorists and the pedestrians.

Some of the advantages of hosting CARNIVAL at Mt Wynne/Peters Hope, are as follows:

1. The record shows that Mount Wynne/Peters Hope comprise 69.295 and 52.506 acres of land respectively, a total of 121.80 acres, hence a much bigger area than Kingstown.

2. A tract can be developed around the periphery of the total or almost total land area to accommodate the street revellers and their mass and music without having to come on the highway. This “Revellers’ Tract, extending from Big Beach in Mount Wynne, encompassing Little Beach into Peter’s Hope and back to Big Beach, may cover a distance of up to three miles or more.

3. A permanent home can then be built to accommodate all aspects of Carnival which will include:

(i) An auditorium comprising the necessary seating accommodation, and standing space, and a permanent stage with all the backstage accommodation.

(ii) A permanent tent for mas bands, thus eliminating the age old problem of annually having to find some old dilapidated or abandoned building to be used as a mas tent.

(iii) This type of accommodation will assist the mas men in securing their costumes rather than having them create an eye sore at the side of the road after Carnival.

(iv) Because of a permanent auditorium, the various components: calypso, steel pan, dancers, etc, can at any time stage shows, showcasing their various talents, and make a dollar without having to wait for the once in a year “Big Occasion”.

(v) Mount Wynne is not a residential area, hence calypsonians, pan men, musicians and other artistes can blast their music to the highest without feeling guilty about polluting the atmosphere.

(vi) This Carnival auditorium can also be used for other shows such as Jazz. Blues, Reggae, etc.

The development of a permanent

Disneyland

Mount Wynne/Peters Hope seems almost ideal for a Vincy Disneyland. It is a picturesque little valley with some very rugged mountain ranges at the top. The bottom is served with some of the most gorgeous waters ever to be washed by the Caribbean Sea. For the greater part of the year, the landscape is a lush green. For those reasons, Mount Wynne/Peters Hope, if carefully planned, can become the Mecca of sports and entertainment in the South Eastern Caribbean, Barbados and Trinidad included.

The area can be subdivided into:

1. A beach picnicking area developed to accommodate various types of beach picnicking, including swimming, diving, water-skiing, suntanning, etc. The two existing beaches can easily be linked by way of road, thus making it a larger, single recreational area.

2. A Circus.

3. A Carnival City

4. A Track and Field Stadium.

Access to the area can easily be done by land and by sea. By land, it is a 25 to 30 minute drive from Kingstown. By boat, it is less than an hour. In their natural states, both Big Beach and Little Beach provide anchorage for fairly large yachts and the ferry, Jaden-T, usually makes regular picnic stops at Big Beach, berthing on the sand. Could you imagine what a Carnival Monday or Tuesday jump-up at Mount Wynne will look like, with patrons arriving by sea and land to enjoy the revelry of Carnival with sports and games, including marine sports?

Track and Field Stadium

With Track and Field begging for a home, now is as good a time as any for athletes to place a bid to have that facility placed at Mount Wynne.

A Convention Centre

Mount Wynne should, however, not be all play and no work. The Government needs to construct its own auditorium and forget the idea of running from hotel to hotel whenever there is an occasion to host a government conference and other things of that nature. There is a hill that separates Big Beach from Little Beach, the site of a former great house, the relics of which still remain. This site will be an excellent venue for a two-storey conference centre, with the lower storey serving as a museum and hall of fame.

Conclusion

The foregoing is an expression of the writer’s views and opinions. He holds no franchise on those views. It is, however, his fervent wish that policy makers, the citizens, and all stakeholders take a serious look at the issues raised and make them “food for thought”. Time is running out.

Finally, I quote from a communiqué of the 46th meeting of the OECS Authority held in Dominica, January 16 to 18, 2008: “In looking at the future, Director General, Dr Len Ishmael expressed concern about the potentially negative impact of the current boom in property development in some OECS member states, pointing in particular to the escalating land prices resulting from the rapid and widespread resort developments which are quickly removing any realistic chances of the average OECS citizen breaking into the land owning class. The trend by resorts to reduce beach access to locals and develop gated communities—-. Dr. Ishmael suggested some alternative approach including a moratorium on the construction of resorts directly on the beaches.”

Matthew Thomas

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