BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, December 27, 2023 (MMS-SKN) — Citizens, residents and returning nationals turned out in their numbers on Saturday evening, December 23, for the Department of the Creative Economy’s Midnight Escape Street Festival, this year dubbed ‘Midnight Circus’, that was held as part of the celebrations of Sugar Mas 52.
Minister with responsibility for the Creative Economy, which falls under the wider Ministry of Sports and the Creative Economy, the Hon Samal Duggins, accompanied by his wife Mrs Ermelin Sebastian-Duggins, joined and mingled with the hundreds of revellers who had thronged the section of Bay Road between College Street Ghaut and Fort Street in downtown Basseterre that had been closed to vehicular traffic to accommodate the hosting of the event.
“Ideally it is always a Midnight Escape,” explained Minister Duggins. “It is just that every year you come with some whatever theme, and this year’s theme would be the Circus. Overall, I think what we tried to achieve is creating one of our ecosystems where culture, small business, and vending, and the entertainment and the whole festive feeling of Christmas comes together in a very organic nature.”
The event which had an enlarged Kids Fun Zone that was located in Port Zante behind the St. Christopher National Trust and National Museum building, had vendors from across the Federation, and an expanded list of performers in the live entertainment section that included, DJ Tero, Upset Squad, Astro VL, Jay Dos, and New Wave, among others.
Leading those who stopped by was Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marcella Liburd, GCMG, JP. Others included the Governor General’s Deputy, His Excellency Walford Gumbs, and Cabinet Secretary Dr Marcus Natta.
The Hon Samal Duggins, who is also the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives; Small Business and Entrepreneurship, observed that the synergy created his ministries gave the patrons a welcome opportunity to do Christmas shopping, enjoy the cultural attribute of the event, while small businesses got empowered.
He stressed the fact that all that was happening at the same time the country was showcasing what it has for Sugar Mas and the Carnival product that is traditionally known for bringing people together in a festive mood.
Towards the end of the event which went on after the midnight hour, Sweet Sister Sensia who emceed the event, announced winners in the Best Vendor category, which was won by the Charlestown, Nevis-based Nature’s Best owned by Mr Randy and Mrs Camesha Morton, with a total of 103 points, earning them a cash prize of $3,000.00.
Competition was tight as the second prized vendor, Pure Niceness by Winnielle had 100 points, while the third placed vendor, Wax Memories, had 98 points. The second and third placed vendors are from St. Kitts.
“The whole idea indeed for me and my ministries, Small Business, Creative Economy, and Agriculture, if you recognise there is a fusion with all the above where our small businesses are featured, many of those are agro-processors,” he noted. “You have for instance different agricultural-based products, also other small businesses, and you fuse that with the entertainment, and culture and the arts, which is the Creative Economy, and you create a wonderful event.”
Staff of the Department of Creative Economy who had a booth from where they sold food to members of the public, were led by Permanent Secretary Ms Valencia Syder, Assistant Secretary, Ms Leah Crag-Chaderton; and Director of Creative Economy, Ms Robertine Webbe.