A motorcade from Salem Centre to Festival City featuring the 2013 Festival Queen and Teenage Pageant delegates, described as disappointing preceded the official opening. But there was a sizeable crowd at the village to witness the opening ceremony and events.
In a ZJB radio news report, Coordinator of the Festival opening Neilson Duberry said, “We expected more persons but nevertheless, the few that came out, we did have a ball.” However he was overwhelmed by the grand attendance at the opening of festival, which followed the motorcade.
Parliamentary Secretary, the Honourable Jermaine Wade declared the 51st annual Montserrat Festival opened as he announced, “As we try our best to embrace what we have a Montserratians and visitors and friends of Montserrat I implore upon you to have a safe one , to fully participate, come to all of the events and support to the fullest Festival 2013.”
Sensing some doubt, he began to look forward to the future of festivals. “We will look at the economics of it; we will look in the future years at how we can make festivals more efficient. How we can improve on the standards, and how we can live to an international level that Montserrat festival will be a amongst the best of the best within the region, in fact, within the world,…” he said, as he continued to thank sponsors and all involved in staging the festival. “You are an important element of ensuring that our festival is successful,” he concluded.
Meanwhile events coordinator, Veta Wade called newness and innovation; for preservation of Festival’s African origins to be submerged, and protected. “As we all continue to work together for the love of our Festival we must continue to encourage and create newness in this celebration.”
“Innovation is important,” she said. “Our Festival must evolve ad the same time. We must not allow our Festival’s African origins to be submerged, we must protect it’s Africaness.”
Viona Alexander-Smith and Warren M. Cassell performed and entertained as the MCs for the opening events. Along with the masqueraders featuring for the first time, women masquerades serenading on stage, the queen and teen pageant contestants paraded, while the national youth choir looked huge on stage giving their rendition of Arrow’s, “Proud to be Montserratian”.
Miss Goosey and the new Mr. Goosey made appearances, with Soca artist Garvin ‘Scrappy’ Johnson and Trevon ‘Trevele’ Pollard, bringing down curtains to the opening.