Open forum: Where Is the Division of Festivals?

Sen. Janelle Sarauw

Dear Source:

Where is the Division of Festivals?

As it stands, the Department of Tourism has failed to establish the Division of Festivals.
Bill No. 32-0308, which was passed unanimously by the 32nd Legislature and signed into law by former Governor Kenneth Mapp, established the Division of Festivals within the Department of Tourism whose function would be to organize and execute festivals and to re-establish the Virgin Islands Cultural Heritage Institute within the Department of Tourism.

With the Crucian Festival just a few months away, the Department of Tourism has failed to announce a Director, Assistant Directors, and the plans of execution for the St. Croix Crucian Festival 2019 – 2020 activities.

Senator Sarauw, one of the primary sponsors of the bill, has corresponded with the Department of Tourism’s Commissioner, Joseph Boschulte, on numerous occasions on matters including the progress of the Division of Festivals, the upcoming Crucian Christmas Festival and potential funding sources. The Department of Tourism’s lack of progress is a defiant move against the legislation which is now law.

“We have an opportunity to promote our culture, rebrand and market our Carnival and Festivals to bring revenue to the Territory,” stated Senator Sarauw. “Case in point, our neighboring BVI brought thousands to the Buju Long Walk to Freedom concert. If we market and brand our activities, we can entice people to come and invest in our Territory; it’s called Entertainment Tourism! Instead, this administration is nonchalant in implementing the law.”

With the Crucian Christmas Festival in sight, it is imperative that the Department of Tourism implement the Division of Festivals now!

Office of Sen. Janelle Sarauw