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(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) When The Bahamas opens its arms in 2010 to welcome artists from the Caribbean, officials there will do so in the warm and festive style for which the chain of Caribbean islands is known.

Some of this was on display on Sunday, 31 August at the Guyana National Stadium as the curtain came down on CARIFESTA X and the Minister of State in The Bahamas Ministry of Culture, the Hon. Mr. Charles Maynard, accepted the CARIFESTA scroll from Guyana’s Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, the Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony.

Ushered in by the sounds of a typical Bahamas Junkanoo band, Dr Anthony accepted the CARIFESTA scroll from the CARIFESTA X Artistic Director, Dr. Paloma Mohammed, and read the content before handing it over to Mr. Maynard to a huge cheer from the crowd.

In accepting the responsibility of hosting CARIFESTA XI, Mr. Maynard stressed that Guyana had done an outstanding job in hosting the just concluded CARIFESTA X. On behalf of The Bahamas, he thanked the Guyana Government for offering to host the festival when “unforeseen circumstances” prevented The Bahamas from hosting the event.

He expressed appreciation for the insights and guidance offered by officials in Guyana, in particular the Minister of Culture, whom Mr. Maynard said had filled large shoes for the past year.

“Guyana has taken CARIFESTA to a new level and we must now take the baton and run with it,” said Mr. Maynard.

He said The Bahamas fully supports the goal of CARIFESTA which is the building of cultural industries to be viable economic entities.

“We pledge our full support for CARIFESTA and we proudly reaffirm our commitment of hosting the Caribbean in our beautiful archipelago in 2010,” said Mr. Maynard.

The Minister described CARIFESTA X as a “joyous celebration” and that Guyana had given the Region an example of a successful CARIFESTA. He added that the challenge for The Bahamas was to do likewise.

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