The Bernard “Yampie” Nibbs Festiville has been given a high rating following the large turnout by residents on a nightly basis in the Festival Village.

Vice Chair of the Festival and Fairs Committee Birch Lettsome shared those sentiments during an interview with 284News.

He firstly thanked all the residents and tourists who came out to support the emancipation festivities over the past week.

“Given all of the circumstances, I really think that it was a great festival in my mind. For me obviously, it is the first time for me in this particular seat… I am really happy not just with the turnout of the people coming out in the village every single night – from Destra, Gospel Night – but that it seems as if everybody would have enjoyed themselves thoroughly,” Lettsome stated.

He added, “I am also happy with the business community and the people in the community that even assisted in trying to pull off some events like the Prince and Princess, the Miss BVI committees, the jouverts and everything… the people that brought their stuff out for Fun Land, the booth owners, parade, the troupes… I am just really happy that everybody came out and did their thing.”

Number 1 challenge was limited time

Lettsome also spoke to the challenges faced by his committee in their first year since taking the role.

He said the main one would have been the limited time available to plan ahead of the festival.

“I think the number one challenge for us would’ve been the time that we actually came in, just a week before the easter festivities and then having to kind of learn the new system, learn the persons and players involved because it was a matter of taking over with whoever was in play and doing their things in whichever committees”, he stated.

“And trying to gather information to understand how things are currently working, where we at, understanding the systems of how long it may or may not take for government’s subventions and other little things to happen and the magnitude of meetings that we had to have in the short space of time. It was very intense,” Lettsome further explained.

Planning for 2023 festival has started

The vice chair also revealed that his committee is already in the process of setting out plans for the 2023 festival.

He said, “Going forward looking into next year, the planning for 2023 has already started. We are already having conversations and have meetings on the calendar with partners for next year so it’s going to be a lot easier as it relates to getting information out and executing all the things that we wanted to but weren’t able to because of the short space of time.”

Lettsome also thanked all the private sector businesses who came on board as sponsors for this year’s Emancipation Festival, adding that the festival would not have been possible without their sponsorship.