Will this be it for the East End Festival parade? Chairman of the Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee Trefor Grant is not saying yes or no, but indications point to the fact that this year might be a decider for the anticipated event.
Mr. Grant told reporters during a recent press conference that his Committee and East End sub-Committee are working hard to improve the parade this year.
“The East End Look Look Festival Committee, they have started to make sure that they have sent out applications and spoke to the community earlier this year. There seems to be a greater buzz around the East End parade. There seems to be more interest this year so we are hoping that it is somewhat better than last year,” he pointed out.
When questioned about previous issues relating to the parade and the complaints from the community that usually follow, Mr. Grant disclosed that a follow-up discussion on the event might be in the winds: “I think in the long run though at some point we will have to sit down and decide where we are going to go with it.”
“This concern was broached and that’s the reason why the East End Committee decided to start earlier and just by starting earlier the interest has peaked. So let us take a look at it. We’ve listened to some suggestions so let’s just see how it goes,” Mr. Grant added.
In 2015 the event attracted criticism as the crowd watching the parade complained, and described it as uneventful and lackluster. The complaints focused issues on the late start and the low number of entries.
The lateness was of great concern to many who gathered at various spots along the route around 2:00pm which was the advertised start time, but had to wait until 6:00pm to see the parade. By that time night was fast approaching.
As it related to the entries many noted that the various pageant queens and other royal participants were the main highlight with few other notable entries.
It would seem that each year there are issues surrounding the annual event. Most pronounced were the complaints of disorganization, lethargy, and lateness in 2012. That year there were truck/band related issues that left a troupe without music, and other minor hiccups that made the experience disappointing for both spectators and parade participants.