St. Lucy Parish Organising Committee Chairman, Danny Babb (2nd from left) makes a point to Minister Peter Phillips (centre), and (from left) RBPF Assistant Superintendent (Acting) Adrian Broomes, Coordinator for We Gatherin’ 2020, Selma Green and BTMI Head of Product Development, Marsha Alleyne.
It’s full steam ahead for “Gather At De Bay,” the first event in the year long calendar of events for We Gatherin’ 2020. On Friday, 6th December 2019 , MP for the parish of St. Lucy, and Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance, the Honourable Peter Phillips was briefed on the plans for the large picnic and family gathering by St. Lucy Parish Organising Committee coordinators Winfield King and Danny Babb. King and Babb laid out how the picturesque River Bay will be made ready for thousands of picnic goers on January 01, 2020. Phillips was participating in a site visit at River Bay in preparation for the event.
Also present were Coordinator for We Gatherin’ 2020, Selma Green and her team from the Project Implementation Unit, representatives from the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), the Barbados Defence Force (BDF), the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Environmental Health Department, the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), the Barbados Fire Service (BFS), the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), the Government Information Service (GIS) and the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). While the agencies discussed the logistics to accommodate the large crowds expected for the event, workmen were seen working on refurbishing some of the structures at the site and preparing some of the ground to accommodate parking, additional public toilets and all that will be needed for a mass event.
St. Lucy will be the first parish in the month of January to host a series of events for Barbadians living on island as well as visitors to the island and Barbadians living abroad. Each month and parish will have a theme to celebrate core aspects of Barbadian culture; St. Lucy’s theme is “Faith.” The St. Lucy POC is using this theme as an acronym to showcase the Families, Achievements, Institutions, Talent and Heritage of the northern parish.
Babb said that ‘Gather at de Bay’ will be preceded by a lighting ceremony and Christmas Concert entitled “Let There Be Light” on December 13 at the St. Lucy Parish church. “For Let There Be Light we are inviting everyone to bring their families to St. Lucy Parish Church to celebrate with the parish and get in the mindset to celebrate in St. Lucy for all of January.” Babb outlined how a park and ride system will be used to accommodate visitors to the event as most of the space around the bay will be left open for the crowds to set up picnic spots. Sight lines have also been left open for a stage which will feature popular DJs and local entertainment. The BDF and RBPF are working to ensure safety for the large crowds as well.
Minister Phillips commended the St. Lucy POC and the team from the Project Unit for the work they have done in preparing so far, “I am heartened to see all the organisations working assiduously today to ensure the event is a success. We want to encourage all Barbadians, locals from St. Lucy, Barbadians from the Diaspora and our visitors as well and all those who love Barbados to come to River Bay for this inaugural event, it will be a time for fun, fellowship and food!”
By Khalil Goodman