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BARBADOS - National Cultural Foundation

Crop Over 2006 - Mount Gay/Cable & Wireless Party Monarch Finals.



This was how chairman of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) Al Gilkes summed up yesterday's biggest ever Mount Gay/Cable & Wireless Party Monarch Finals.

Now he is predicting that if the trend continues the remaining five official events of the six-week festival will be just as massive.

"Preliminary figures show that we perhaps have broken the previous record of 30 000. Our count should be around 32 000 or more. It is a fantastic crowd, it is the largest we've ever had. The behaviour has been as usual typical Barbadian, which is trouble-free, in keeping with the tradition we have seen over the years where we see massive crowds.

"Bajans take pride in showing exemplary behaviour. They enjoyed themselves but there is none of the violence, none of the disruption that is associated with crowds like this in other territories," he said of the numbers at the Calypso Bowl on the Ermie Bourne Highway, St Andrew.

Gilkes, who has been given another three-year term as chairman, said the performers "lived up to expectations" and he had received no complaints.

About the other events he said: "If this [Party Monarch] is the trend of what we can expect over the next weekend, I don't think we have any problems. Based on the success of the semi-finals and the number of persons who are crowd favourites who have gone through to the Finals for Pic-O-De-Crop to meet Kid Site, I believe we also will have a record crowd [compared to] the past ten years at the [National] Stadium Friday night."

He also said a bumper crowd was expected for Foreday Morning Jam, which follows the finals. He added the number of revellers for this event had grown over the years from 2 000 to almost 14 000. *donnasealy@


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