ANGUILLA–This year’s Summer Festival is being planned with the opening scheduled for Friday, August 3. The final schedule will be released next week as details are still being worked out. One of the main challenges is the Landsome Bowl Cultural Centre that was damaged in Hurricane Irma. Funding is also a problem but the committee decided that the Festival is a significant part of the Anguilla calendar, an economic driver, and a time when many families visit the island, so decided to go ahead with it.
Director of the Department of Youth and Culture, Bren Romney, whose department has overall responsibility for the Festival, said that security is a significant cost factor but essential. He noted that many businesses are not sponsoring events as before because of the economy. Speaking on Landsome Bowl, he said the entire electrical grid would have to be re-done, the bathrooms had already been repaired, but plumbing and fencing still had to be fixed. He said booth owners were assisting with the re-building of the booths and because of this the government would waive their fees this year.
Chair of the Committee Lisa Rey said she appreciated all the hard work being done by the committee members. She said the schedule would have to be changed as the entire programme would not be not feasible. She reported that some of the committee had visited St. Maarten and gained ideas from the organisers of the Carnival there. She stressed that next year would be the 45th anniversary and the committee did not want to start with a debt so a few changes would be made this year.
The theme this year reflects the problems since Irma: “Strength and Resilience like you’ve never seen; As we celebrate Summer Festival 2018.”