The ministry of culture launched the 2018 national Nine Mornings activities with the official lighting up of Heritage Square on Sunday December 2nd.
The ceremony followed a candlelight march through the streets of Kingstown ending at Heritage Square. The march was accompanied by the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Band and community groups some with their own bands.
According to Lennox Bowman, Deputy Chair of the national Nine Mornings committee, this year had a record turn- out and participation. Addressing Sunday’s launch Bowman said the committee works year round planning activities for the Christmas season to bring Christmas to Vincentians in true Vincentian style.
“I want to say that it is the communities which make this thing happen, we are mainly the facilitators,” he said. He encouraged the audience to visit communities that are staging activities during the nine mornings, which officially starts on December 16th and ends on December 24th.
Minister of Tourism Hon. Cecil McKie did the official count down to turn on the lights in the Square. The jubilant minister announced that Christmas 2018 would be a “wow” experience for Vincentians as visitor arrivals is expected to increase and American Airlines would also be making its inaugural trip to the Argyle International Airport (AIA) on December 15th.
Mr Mckie said that as of December 1st to the 31st this year, this country will receive 58 cruise calls to the destination, and will also welcome the yachting event to St.Vincent and the Grenadines called the Arc.
He noted, “The month of December is an important month for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to shine and each and every one of us, we must play our part.” He said that in 2019 the committee will begin the process to have the festival recognised worldwide as a “world festival”.
The Coulls Hill community will start off the community lighting on December 8. The National Parks, Beaches and Rivers Authority will light up the Botanic Gardens on December 15th
Meantime, the National Nine Mornings Committee launched its commemorative magazine on Sunday December 2, 2018, during the launch of the Mornings festival; they have also produced other 9 Mornings memorabilia which are available for purchase by the public.
The magazine according to Michael Peters, Chairman of the National Nine Mornings Committee, is the first official document to focus on the Nine Mornings tradition here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.