Covid causes cancellation of more Caribbean festivals

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Exuberant Junkanoo dancer performs in the Bahamas.
Exuberant Junkanoo dancer performs in the Bahamas. Photo Credit: Gay Nagle Myers

The latest victim of the pandemic is Dominica's signature event, its World Creole Music Festival, which had been slated for Oct. 23 to 25.

The festival, now in its 22nd year, last year drew more than 20,000 attendees, contributing 10% of the country's annual stayover arrivals.

"We would have loved to have the festival but these are challenging times," said Denise Charles, the minister for tourism, international transport and maritime initiatives. "The health and safety of our citizens is priority, and the government took the responsible decision to cancel it this year."

Uncertainty related to airlift frequency, protocols for travel and mass gatherings and an assessment of current source markets, including the U.S., were factors in the decision, according to Charles.

The dates for the next World Creole Music Festival are Oct. 29 to 31, 2021.

The Bahamas' 2020/2021 Junkanoo parades also have been canceled due to Covid-19. The parades usually draw between 7,000 to 8,000 spectators and take place between Christmas and New Year's.

"Due to health and safety concerns for both Junkanooers and the viewing public as well as the financial constraints experienced by government and corporate sponsors, the parades will not take place this year," said the Junkanoo Corp. of New Providence and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

The annual Run Barbados marathon and half-marathon series, now in its 37th year, had been set for Dec. 4 to 6, but it will now take place Dec. 10 to 12, 2021, according to Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

"This has not been an easy decision for us, but in the interest of the preservation of life and overall general well being, to cancel was the responsible thing to do," it said.

On Grand Cayman, the 20th Annual International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, originally set for Sept. 25, was rescheduled to September 2021.

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