Over the years the annual “Rainbow City Festival” has developed to be a brand in its own right. It was the late Jim Adamski who burst on the scene with the idea that at the ‘end of the Rainbow is a pot of gold’ and Grenville will be the Rainbow City, where the pot of gold resides.
It was, at that time, St. Andrew had lost the national airport to Point Salines and we the people of St. Andrew no longer had a drawing card for bringing people to Grenada via Pearls Airport at St. Andrew and therefore Grenville would die so the St. Andrew Development Organisation (SADO) was formed.
It was the time when we had two (2) bank holidays (Monday & Tuesday) early in August celebrating Emancipation but nothing significant happened.
We cashed in on that opportunity and the Rainbow City Festival became synonymous with Emancipation. It then developed to be the National Festival for Emancipation. This lead to the drafting and promulgation of the “National Festivals Act” by Dr. Francis Alexis, then Attorney General and everything grew.
Over the years SADO managed and improved the Rainbow City Festival and the legacy was entrenched.
In recent times the new leaders of SADO have lost their way and we must re-discover the traditional Rainbow City Festival in 2013 on a bigger and better footing in 2013 and beyond.
To do so, we must do the following:
(i). We must do an inventory of all the villages in St. Andrew and what each village is traditionally known for e.g. Munich was the cassava and farine village, Marquis was the straw weaving of mats, hats, etc. village, etc.
(ii). We need an inventory of all interesting sites in St. Andrew viz., the Eco-tourism sites, such as Grand Etang, the Royal Mt. Carmel Falls, the River Tubing sites, the Forts and their history, the Amerindian Burial Ground, the Arch Bridges, the White Sand Beach, etc.
(iii). We need an inventory of our traditional foods and their recipes and finest cooks, such as Conkies “Paymee” A-geedee, Oil Down, Brown Down, Wild Meat Cook up, Fish and Shell Fish Waters, Dried Fried Fish and Tee Tee Wee even barbecuing, etc. (for the exhibition and competition).
(iv). We need an inventory of the best Patois speakers and their Patois stories to be translated and to begin teaching Patois (for the night shows).
(v). We need an inventory and to discover our Shango Dancers, our Mamma Maladie persons, our leapgaroux persons, our mama g’leau, our biablesse and our drummers for a competition.
(vi). We must do an inventory of our traditional games such as Wooden Cart Driving and Racing downhill, through roller racing with wheels and coconut paddles, to playing marbles and jupping competition, to playing traditional “X” and “O” skipping to donkey cart racing, to wooden scooter riding, etc.
(vii). We need to know if we have any traditional dances leading back to any Tribe in West Africa.
When we have this data and these can be done in 2-3 months, we must coordinate and choreograph them into a smooth program like we had twenty (20) years ago. Starting with competitions and exhibitions with Radio Quiz on Emancipation viz Julien Fedon, Eric Gairy, then tours of tourism sites with trained Tour Guides for a fee leading up to the Emancipation Week and the Rainbow City Festival.
With this plan we must begin discussions on radio and television involving some of the past Presidents of SADO and Chairpersons of the Rainbow City Festival.
A theme can be developed right away and a draft program made available before Christmas or not later than Independence week for circulation to our Grenada Embassies all over the world.
I am willing to expand on areas that I may know about and to discuss the way forward to Re-discover the Rainbow City Festival in 2013.
Dr. E. R. Buckmire