So far eight CARICOM countries have confirmed their participation in CARIFESTA XIII and all systems are go, as the various agencies in Barbados mandated to manage the production of the biannual regional event, put plans in place.

In addition to early confirmers Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Guyana, Montserrat and St. Lucia, there has been interest shown in the regional showcase from international buyers in Colombia, North America, Europe the Middle East as well as from other Caribbean islands, who have a special interest in one of the major events for the Festival – the Grand Market and Buyer’s Shopping Mall. The Caribbean’s first mega mall is expected to feature the widest range of Caribbean creative products under one roof with over 300 booth spaces available.

Come August 17th to 27th, Barbados is expected to play host to over 3,000 artists, artistes and artisans, their families and supporters who will converge on the island to witness what, coupled with the Crop over Festival, has been dubbed “The Biggest Summer of Culture in Barbados

Other than the Grand Market which will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC), there will be a number of entertainment events at various venues across the island where the extensive talent of this region will be showcased. There are plans for two Super Concerts, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, three Signal Events as well as performances nightly from the various country delegations expected. Many of the venues including some schools are presently undergoing stages of refurbishment in preparation for the Festival.

A call has been issued for the submission of interest from community groups and persons interested in producing their own events which can be promoted on the official CARIFESTA calendar. These creative fringe functions will permit artistic and resourceful individuals or groups the opportunity to design and develop events which can be seen by regional counterparts who will be visiting at the time.

Other Barbadian individuals or companies are encouraged to submit their names to provide support services for technical and production roles for the Festival as well as carpentry and joinery services. Another call has gone out for persons interested in volunteering to assist at the various events. Details for submission can be found on the CARIFESTA website. The deadline is February 28th 2017.

Barbados has not hosted a CARIFESTA since 1981 and 2017 promises to be epic in proportion. To date there are a number of committees that have been formed to manage the various areas of the Festival which will take place in numerous venues around the island and which is expected to generate a high level of economic activity at that time.

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