BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE inaugural Midnight Escape is being described as a success, and plans are in place to extend the showcase next year with the aim of providing an environment for the general public to socialize before Christmas.
Like many other places around the region and across the world that celebrate Christmas, there is the Christmas Market and for others the ‘big lime’.
For many, Saturday evening’s (Dec.24) activities brought out the free-spirit that was missing over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while providing small entrepreneurs the opportunity to get a few dollars in their pockets before the mad rush ends.
Shannon Hawley, Chair of the National Carnival Committee, acknowledged the importance of having such an event, pointing out that she was impressed with the growing numbers of persons who supported it.
In August, Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew lifted the COVID-19 regulations and allowed for more social gatherings, so that promoters and entertainers could begin to benefit from the economic activities since the negative impact of the pandemic.
Hawley welcomed the turnout, describing it as tremendous, whilst revealing that more would be on the calendar for next year.
“This, what you see here tonight is what we are trying to create for the overall Carnival in terms of vendors. We don't want vendors to be scattered everywhere moving forward. We want to ensure that vendors are in a centralized, organized, structured environment where people can come and enjoy what the vendors have to offer. Definitely you are going to see this back in 2023, bigger and better and extended, and there's going to be more than one Midnight Escape,” disclose Hawley.
Minister of Culture and Small Business, Samal Duggins welcomed the exhibition and noted he hopes that the Midnight Escape activities are replicated in the future.
He told SKNVibes News that the activities underscored the Federation’s unique fusion of Christmas and Carnival Season.
“This is what we talk about when we talk about small business development, when we talk about the merge of culture, and when we talk about the merge of entertainment, small business and all the different elements of our society coming to one space where everyone could benefit.”
Compared with 2021, the Federation is more relaxed and has seen more activities being held for this year's Festival, and Minister Duggins acknowledged that he was impressed with the size of the crowd and involvement of the people.
“ When you look at the way the people are coming out and supporting the events, ‘we outside again’! Everybody is happy, so am I,” Duggins told SKNVibes News.
In addition to Duggins, a number of government officials, including Foreign Affairs and Economy Minister, Dr. Denzel Douglas and Education Minister Dr. Geoffrey Hanley were in attendance at the two-block celebration of culture, party and business.