A reveler during the Road Town parade, August 2012.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
This year there were less lewd costumes during the Road Town Festival Parade, according to Marvin Blyden, Chairman of the Virgin Islands Festivals and Fairs Committee.
"That [costumes] was a great improvement. You didn't see much of that body showing all over the place. I don't know if the troupe leaders were aware of what we were talking about and they got some of their members to look appropriate, and most of the body parts were covered, I must admit," Blyden told BVI Platinum News.
The issue of lewd costumes being worn during the festival parade, especially when children are lined along the parade route has become a concern for members of the public. Several persons criticized last year's parade, including Eileene Parsons, who has been described as a local cultural icon and who has been deeply involved in many aspects of festival celebrations.
On talk shows and blogs, the public has weighed in heavily about the type of costumes worn during the festival parade, calling for a return to more sober days when revelers represented more cultural themes.
The suggestion has also been made that the festival and parade only involve BVIslanders, but Parsons has warned against such a move. Speaking on the National Democratic Party's (NDP) radio programme on February 20, Parsons said personally, such a move would be "like incest".
"And I can't think of a different word when BVIslanders are going to have a festival about BVIslanders, for BVIslanders, with BVIslanders and don't bring in anything else. Excluding everybody else and just BVIslanders going down Road Town street will be empty anyhow," Parsons had pointed out.
Meanwhile, Blyden said that the parade this year was a good one; however, they will have to work on the gaps between some of the troupes.
"One of our down fall is that we put all the Miss BVI, Miss Princess and everything in front, and that was one of the mistakes because when you had the parade start out, you had those people coming up a good space of distance without any music and that is something we have to look at next year. We must have some kind of music in between, even if it has to be the music from stereos. We don't want there to be a big band between the contestants, but some kind of music to keep them jumpy," Blyden explained.