Point Fortin Mayor Saleema Thomas announces plans for this year’s Point Fortin Borough Day celebrations. –
POINT Fortin mayor Saleema McCree Thomas has said after “much consultation,” the council has decided there will be J’Ouvert celebrations for this year’s Borough Day festivities.
She said “no more than 4,000 revellers” will be parading the streets.
Borough Day celebrations were halted for two years owing to the covid19 pandemic.
On March 29, Thomas announced the series of activities to observe the borough’s 42nd anniversary. But she said then it would “only take a few people with the (covid19) virus” when explaining why J’Ouvert celebrations would not be held.
Despite this, several J’Ouvert bands began advertising and registering people in the following weeks, leaving many confused as to whether it was on.
Asked about this on Thursday – the day before the launch of Borough Day 2022 – Thomas told Newsday the J’Ouvert celebrations will be held on May 7 from 4 am-10 am.
Only four bands will be allowed to participate. Two are from Point Fortin, one from La Brea and the other is from Cedros.
Asked if there was an error in communication that led to bands preparing even when she had said there would be no J’Ouvert, she said, “The council would have stopped and did a review of the events that we’re having for this year’s celebrations, and after much consultation – because we have to reach out to our stakeholders and consult our burgesses to get a consensus on what they think or how they will feel if we bring back on some form of J’Ouvert celebration…
“We reached a green light where we will now have some form of rejuvenation – but only to our local bands in the southwestern regions.”
She said there was no official announcement of the change, nor was it included in the updated version of the celebrations’ calendar of events, but she has been doing interviews over the past few days to publicise the information.
She said there will be sanitisation stations along the route of the street parade in efforts to ensure it is safe and well organised.
“As people pass, they will be encouraged to wash their hands, sanitise…They will be given sanitisation packs which will include masks, wet wipes, hand sanitisers and so on.”
This, she said, will remind people that “We’re still in a pandemic and we want you to maintain a level of safety while you enjoy yourself.”
In addition, she said, the streets will be cleaned and sanitised after the parade.