BAM President Jason Thompson: Don’t ‘knock’ new route Loop Barbados

The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

The new change to the Grand Kadooment route was not haphazard. 

A  series of Crop Over 2023 post-mortem meetings highlighted the need for a “change that would make things better for most stakeholders”.

This was the synopsis from President of Barbados Association of Masqueraders (BAM) Jason Thompson as he announced the new Grand Kadooment Day route Friday evening during the media launch for the Season of Emancipation and Crop Over 2024, hosted at Ilaro Court.

The BAM President revealed that immediately following the climax of Crop Over 2023, a task force was appointed by BAM to undertake a SWOT analysis of the festival. Subsequently, meetings held with several stakeholders including the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), the Barbados Police Service, Barbados Defense Force, Department of Emergency Management (DEM), band leaders, among others, highlighted a need for change and improvement.

One such change would be a new route for Grand Kadooment. In addition to utilizing wider roads, Thompson underscored easier management from a security standpoint.

Outlining the factors that lead to this change, Thompson explained: “We saw it as a need for wider roads based on the experience that many of our band leaders would like to offer to their masqueraders. We recognize that the spectators are forced to stand in the roads…and therefore there was a need for party zones…areas where persons can purchase from a stall space, listen to some music and enjoy themselves within that space while they are waiting for the other bands to pass. Having a route that offers a picturesque view of our beautiful beaches (is) one added benefit to Destination Barbados and finally having a system that can be easily managed by the police and the armed forces.”

The newest Kadooment Day route will begin in Bridgetown at the Helipad carpark, proceed on to President Kennedy Drive via Princess Alice Highway and Prescod Boulevard, then up to the Eagle Hall junction and onto Black Rock Main Road, then onto the Mighty Grynner Highway, with some bands entering Kensington Oval.

Thompson made an appeal for everyone to give the new route a fair chance, stating: “Let’s not knock it before we try it.”