Prime Minister Drew lauds Ministry of Creative Economy for empowering the people

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Left: PM Dr Drew (right) with DPM Dr Hanley, the Hon Duggins, and H.E. Kenneth Douglas at Esthetics Beauty Parlor stand; Top right PM Dr Drew with Nevisians Randy and Camesha Morton of Nature’s Best. Bottom picture shows crowd scenes.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, December 25, 2022 (MMS-SKN) — The Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, in its endeavour to transition into a sustainable small island state, is all out to empower its people, and Prime Minister Dr the Hon Terrance Drew is lauding the role being played by the Ministry of Creative Economy in establishing avenues that are empowering the population.

The section of Bay Road between College Street Ghaut and Fort Street in downtown Basseterre was on Christmas eve night, Saturday December 24, closed to vehicular traffic to accommodate the hosting of the first Midnight Escape Street Festival that was held as part of the celebrations of Sugar Mas 51.

“We have decided that we wanted this carnival post Covid to be a carnival to remember and give the people an opportunity to once again be on the outside and enjoy themselves in a healthy way, as they do business as well,” said Prime Minister Drew who had joined the thousands of entrepreneurs, entertainers, patrons and revellers who had turned for the event which went well beyond its advertised time of 1:00 a.m. on Christmas Day.

The Honourable Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Finance, National Security, Citizenship and Immigration, Health, and Social Security, joined his Cabinet colleagues led by Minister of Creative Economy the Hon Samal Duggins, Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Dr Geoffrey Hanley, Senior Minister Rt. the Hon Dr Denzil Douglas, and Junior Minister the Hon Isalean Phillip, as they interacted with members of the public until the early hours of Sunday morning – Christmas Day.

Clockwise from top: GG’s Deputy Her Excellency Marcella Liburd with a patron; PM Dr Drew and Hon Duggins with patrons; Rt. Hon Dr Douglas with small business entrepreneur Ms Anastasia Elliott; crowd scenes at Midnight Escape street activities.

“I am here at this event on Christmas eve night, the first of the kind that we have seen, and so I want to congratulate the minister responsible for Carnival, the Hon Samal Duggins, for really making Carnival with a difference, and to congratulate his team for the excellent job,” said Prime Minister Drew. 

Supporting Minister Duggins included Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Creative Economy, Ms Valencia Syder; Director of Creative Economy, Ms Robertine Webbe; and Chair of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Carnival Committee, Ms Shannon Hawley, among other officials from the Ministry of Creative Economy.

Among those who stopped by included Governor General’s Deputy Her Excellency Marcella Liburd, Ambassador His Excellency Kenneth Douglas, a former Speaker of the National Assembly the Hon Curtis Martin, and scores of returning nationals who are at home to partake of the Sugar Mas 51 activities as well as meeting their loved ones at home. 

In the meantime, Chair of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Carnival Committee, Ms Shannon Hawley, while also congratulating the team of Ministry of Creative Economy led by Director of Creative Economy Ms Robertine Webbe for a job well done, said that the Midnight Escape Street Festival will now be a feature on the National Carnival’s calendar of activities.

Chair of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Carnival Committee, Ms Shannon Hawley (right) at the Midnight Escape’s stand of small business entrepreneur Ms Winnielle Pereira.

“Midnight Escape is a new event that is now part of Sugar Mas 51 and we expect that this magnificent event will grow and grow,” said Ms Hawley. “It is a place where as you can see, you can come to different artisans, different vendors, purchase your last minute gifts for Christmas and for the rest of the season. We have folklore, art and craft, sweets and treats, you name it, and it is being hosted by the Ministry of the Creative Economy headed by Ms Robertine Webbe.”  

Director of Creative Economy, Ms Robertine Webbe, who also echoed what Ms Hawley had said about the Midnight Escape Street Festival, observed that the concept was conceptualised after looking at successful events elsewhere such as the Food and Rum Festival in Barbados, and the Midnight Market in Atlanta, among others.

“The turnout is amazing,” exclaimed Ms Webbe. “I can tell that all the vendors are happy, as people are coming to buy their last minute Christmas gifts. It is a variety – we have from food, we have from the Island Cuisine. In terms of art we have craft, we have soap making – various items. Based on who I am seeing, and based on comments on social media, everybody is enjoying it.”

The event, which was hosted by 5 Star Pino and Sister Sensia, featured Nu Vybes Band, 313 Family, Akaii U Sweet, Dejour, KT Dan, DJ Tero, New Wave Sounds, Mixclusive, Just Jhayii, and Tombstone International. Also making an appearance that drew quite a crowd were the St. Peter’s Masquerades. 


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