Gros Islet MP Kenson Casimir has announced plans for Gros Islet Friday Night ‘Reloaded’, following a successful resumption of the popular street party last week.
“What’s next is a Gros Islet Friday Night reloaded,” Casimir told reporters Monday on the sidelines of a meeting of the Cabinet.
“We were not able to put in practice some of the ideas that we have for changing the landscape of Gros Islet Friday Night and so because of course, protocols. So what we are going to do we are going to continue to be at the table talking about how we can accentuate Gros Islet Friday Night. What can we do for tourists to really enjoy what it means to be Saint Lucian during their stay,” the MP explained.
He disclosed the formation of a committee, including vendors, the Mayor’s team, and events management stakeholders.
According to Casimir, the committee will seek to better the street party once organisers get the go-ahead to ‘free up in ways we have never done before, ‘.
The Minister for Youth Development and Sports noted that other communities have been holding mass crowd events.
“The question is do we have the wherewithal, do we have the fundamentals in terms of police in terms of health care systems, in terms of everything to manage all those events? Of course, we saw Gros Islet Friday Night looking to do the right thing,” Casimir asserted.
According to the MP, the turnout for last week’s Gros Islet Friday Night and the returns to vendors at the event were ‘absolutely amazing’.
“But of course in this climate you would have expected a little bit more from different persons doing what they needed to do to make it a safer place,” Casimir told reporters.
He spoke of the need to live with COVID-19.
“We’ve seen, I think we are about to witness a fifth wave and a sixth wave and five previous waves there wasn’t any Gros Islet Friday Nights. Let’s be honest,” the MP stated.
But he said despite that, there was still an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
“It doesn’t justify anybody not doing what they are supposed to do by way of getting vaccinated, following the protocols. But the fact of the matter is the world is going through an uptick in COVID-19 cases and I believe that COVID-19 cases were going to increase regardless of whether or not there was a Gros Islet Friday night,” he pointed out.
“What has happened is that every other institution in terms of middle class and upper class institutions with bars and with shops and restaurants – they were benefiting from economic activities, except the vendors,” Casimir told reporters.
“So what we are seeing now is parity in terms of all stakeholders having a stake in what happens in a global environment with tourists actually being on Island,” he said.
Headline photo: People attending Gros Islet Friday on May 6, 2022